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MassDOT Reopens Bridges in Bedford, Danvers
The new Page Road Bridge over the Shawsheen River in Bedford reopened several months ahead of schedule. MassDOT Highway Division contractors completed the $4.3 million construction of the Route 1-Newbury Street bridges over Route 62-Maple Street in Danvers on schedule. The bridges reopened to full traffic width this week.
The Road to Reform
Mullan: Investing in Roads, Bridges, Transit
MassDOT Transportation Secretary and CEO Jeff Mullan says strategic investment in transportation infrastructure is a "duty" of the new Massachusetts Department of Transportation. In the past year, the Statewide Road and Bridge program supported by the transportation bond bills invested a record $721 million in infrastructure.
Federal stimulus transportation funds totaling more than $700 million over two years will rebuild roads, bridges, and transit.
In addition, Governor Patrick's eight-year, $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program is in its second year investing in structurally-deficient bridges across the Commonwealth. Learn more by watching Secretary Mullan's YouTube video:
Safe Winter Driving Tips
To prepare for the coming wintry weather, motorists should check all fluids, make sure their radiator is winterized, maintain a gas tank above half-full and keep windshield washing fluid on hand. A winter survival kit should include an ice scraper and shovel, flashlight, jumper cables, flares, sand for traction, extra clothing or blankets, a first-aid kit and non-perishable food.
Use the brake and gas pedal lightly when driving in icy conditions and watch for bridges, which freeze before roadways. Do not use cruise control in icy conditions. Clear frost from windows and mirrors. And remember that exit ramps may have less sand and salt on them than the highway.
Remember that the road in front of the plow is usually in much worse condition than the roadway behind the plow. Plows will typically travel under 35 miles per hour and there is always a temptation to pass them. For safety purposes, it is recommended to stay a safe distance behind snowplows.
In wintry weather, motorists should drive with headlights on, observe posted speed limits, never drink and drive, make sure everyone is using a seatbelt and be on the lookout for changing weather conditions. Other safety precautions include obeying warning signs, keeping a safe distance between vehicles and using four-way flashers when stopped in traffic or traveling slowly.
Check the MassDOT traffic page for traffic cameras and traffic alerts: www.mass.gov/511/cameras
More information on winter driving is available at the MassDOT website.
Holiday Travel Tips: Hot Spots
MassDOT encourages residents and visitors to plan ahead to avoid delays during the upcoming holidays and winter driving season.
Thanksgiving holiday traffic will be especially heavy on Wednesday November 25 and Sunday November 29. I-90 Exit 9 connecting I-84 to Connecticut and New York will experience heavy traffic congestion and delays at toll plazas. To avoid delays on Wednesday and Sunday, drivers are encouraged to consider travel during the early morning or after 8 p.m.
Traffic congestion is also expected at the I-95 and I-495 Turnpike interchanges along with I-495 and I-93 northbound leading into New Hampshire.
MassDOT suspends highway construction projects across the state during heavy holiday traffic. However, travel restrictions will remain on larger road projects.
All Highway Division traffic cameras, including four new feeds from the Tobin Bridge, have been merged into one online traffic camera webpage with more than 90 live traffic cameras throughout the highway system. The cameras refresh every 10 seconds to provide real time traffic views.
Drivers can also call the state's 511 traffic information line and check radio traffic reports for updated information. To promote safe driving for travelers, free coffee will be served at all 18 MassDOT service plazas courtesy of McDonalds, Burger King, and Gulf between 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, Thursday, November 26 to 5 a.m. on Friday, November 27.
Holiday Travel: MBTA, Logan Airport
The MBTA Thanksgiving Holiday service schedule for Wednesday, November 25 through Friday, November 27 is available at www.mbta.com.
Due heavy traffic, residents are encouraged to use public transportation to get to and from Logan Airport. Last year on the day before Thanksgiving, more than 50,000 drivers traveled through the Ted Williams, Callahan and Sumner Tunnels.
To accommodate MBTA customers traveling to and from Logan Airport, Silver Line service will be enhanced during peak airport travel times before the holiday and continuing through Tuesday, December 1. The Silver Line stops at five Logan terminals. With low floors and plenty of space, the 60-foot-long Silver Line vehicles are ideal for customers traveling with luggage. Remember to buy a CharlieTicket when leaving Logan. Buy a CharlieTicket with a One- or Seven-Day LinkPass to use during the holiday weekend. To learn more visit the MBTA website or call MBTA Customer Support, 617-222-3200 or 800-392-6100, TTY 617-222-5146, Monday through Friday 6:30 AM to 8:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM.
Massport recommends passengers allow extra time to check in and get through security and to always check their airline flight status before leaving for the airport. Visit Massport at www.massport.com for updated flight arrival and departure information.
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