by: Courtney Murtagh, UMTC Intern
For the third time this year, major snow, rain, and ice storms are expected to cause significant flooding and complications on Massachusetts’s roadways.
As Massachusetts is expecting another significant storm this week, bringing 6-20 inches of wet snow MassDOT is doing everything it can to prepare citizens and roadways for the impact and aftermath.
MassDOT is able to deploy up to 700 personal to cover over 15,000 lane miles for snow and ice removal throughout the Commonwealth. They are well prepared with approximately 4,200 pieces of snow and ice removal equipment, including 1,300 plow and spreaders, 2,100 plows, and 460 front-end loaders. The department has planned out deployment of snow equipment, and roads are being pretreated with brine and Magnesium Chloride to make snow and ice removal easier.
Closing roads and transit systems for extended periods of time this afternoon and evening is a big possibility in preparation for the upcoming storm and MassDOT urges commuters to be prepared.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority expects Wednesday and Thursday’s storm to impact most transportation, including the subway and commuter rails. MBTA crews are re-stocking on fuel, sand/salt mixes, as well as re-inspecting infrastructure like switches, signals and gates, and snow plows.
The agency released a statement saying it was canceling nightly shuttles between North Quincy and Braintree as well as canceling a public meeting in Somerville due to the forecast.
Again, MassDOT personnel and government employees are urging citizens to stay off the road as much as possible, especially on Wednesday night when the storm will be the heaviest. If drivers must go out, MassDOT advises them to lower their speed, allow themselves extra travel time, and “don’t crowd the plow,” an ongoing message for the motorist to stay behind snow removal equipment.
MassDOT advises drivers to always wear seatbelts, minimize distractions and dial 511 before heading out on the roadway to hear real-time traffic conditions.