BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising the public to make informed decisions before traveling and be aware of ongoing winter conditions including heavy winds that can blow snow back onto the roadway as well as frigid temperatures that may cause highways, ramps, and other road surfaces to freeze, tonight, January 6.
“With the high winds combined with the below-zero temperatures, snow can quickly drift onto the roadway and freeze making travel difficult,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “The public should continue to monitor weather conditions and exercise safe driving behavior if getting behind the wheel including reducing speed, giving space to other motorists, and minimizing distractions. Drivers shouldbe aware that there may be reduced sight lines and narrow lanes at highway on and off-ramps, so they should pay extra attention when traveling through these locations.”
There have been several vehicle crashes today, including one on I-90 eastbound in Beckett which temporarily closed all travel lanes.
At this time, the speed limit on I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) is reduced to 40 miles per hour between the New York border and Exit 3 in Westfield.
Throughout the weekend, MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will be activated as conditions necessitate. Highway Division crews are currently patrolling roadways across the state and treating locations that are being impacted by snow drifts.
If drivers go out onto the roadways, they are advised to drive the conditions, lower their speeds, give themselves extra time to reach their destinations, and remember MassDOT’s message, “Don’t Crowd the Plow.” MassDOT strongly urges drivers to always wear seatbelts, minimize distractions, turn off or put away cell-phones and devote their full attention to what is ahead on the road.
Drivers are advised to:
- Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights, even the hood and roof, before driving, (start with the tailpipe).
- Leave plenty of room for stopping.
- Remember that the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
- Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Pump brakes as you prepare to come to a full stop. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
- Bridge decks freeze before roadway surfaces leading up to them due to the difference in the exposure to air.
- Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows – stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.
- Seat belts should be worn at all times – it’s the law.
- Most importantly, please travel at slow speeds.