Boston – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) today announced that I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) toll plaza demolition and road reconstruction is on schedule and at 23 work zones the management, design and construction plans continue to be implemented. Since MassDOT activated All Electronic Tolling at 10:06 p.m., Friday, October 28, gantries have registered over 4 million transactions. In addition, last night, the new website, www.EZDriveMA.com, achieved full functionality.
“Construction activities are progressing well,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “We are thankful for the hard work of all those involved in pre-planning for the toll demolition and road reconstruction process, and we appreciate drivers continuing to make informed and appropriate travel decisions and helping to minimize traffic impact.”
“We are continuing to move forward with logistics involving deployment of heavy construction equipment, canopy and booth demolition, filling in underground tunnels, and the removal of construction debris,” said Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “Our MassDOT crews and contractors deserve a great amount of credit for their hard work, and we appreciate drivers obeying the rules of the road and devoting their full attention to driving. We encourage drivers to continue to utilize our many travel planning tools and adjust their travel plans according to traffic conditions.”
Drivers are reminded that the posted speed limit is 15 mph through each of these construction zones, even when there is no visible construction activity. This speed limit will remain in place until November 22, as crews now are involved in the process of demolishing the center areas of existing toll plazas and reconstructing the roadways in those center areas as temporary traffic patterns guide vehicles to the right and left of center areas.
The new All Electronic Tolling system allows drivers to use I-90 without an active transponder, as they will simply receive and invoice in the mail for the toll charge.
Yesterday, MassDOT crews and contractors continuing demolishing the existing toll plazas, and have now demolished 85 out of 155 toll booths. Demolition of the structures and infrastructure is now fully underway at all 23 work zone locations.
Crews have also entirely or partially demolished the overhead canopies at toll plazas in West Stockbridge, Lee, Westfield,West Springfield, Ludlow, Sturbridge, Natick, Framingham, and the Ted Williams Tunnel. A milestone was reached overnight at the toll plaza in Weston in which final paving of the center area of the plaza was completed and for this morning’s commute east and westbound I-90 vehicles were traveling in newly paved lanes through the center of this plaza area. At this location in Weston on I-90, demolition activities will now start to focus on the right and left of the center areas.
Each toll plaza in Massachusetts has its own management, design, and construction plan so activities today in each work zone vary. Today, for example in West Stockbridge and Lee, efforts continue to haul away concrete and steel left as a result of booth and canopy demolition. Tool plaza canopy demolition takes place overnight tonight at the Chicopee plaza and over the center lanes of travel in Hopkinton and Palmer. Demolition of toll booths is continuing at the Ted Williams Tunnel and the Allston/Brighton toll plaza areas.
The following statistics reflect activity:
• Approximately 4,060,487 transactions were processed by the All Electronic Tolling gantries between 10:06 p.m., on Friday, and 8:00 a.m., today.
• This includes 1,264,253 transactions processed between Monday at 8 a.m., and today at 8 a.m.
• Approximately 82.8% of Monday’s transactions were automatically registered as valid E-ZPass transactions, while the rest will be reviewed or processed as Pay By Plate transactions.
• 401 personnel were utilized for the work on toll plaza demolition and road reconstruction on Monday. This number includes 115 public safety and law enforcement personnel and includes 286 MassDOT and contractor personnel. Overnight last night, 411 personnel were deployed along with 124 pieces of equipment.
• The new All Electronic Tolling website (www.EZDriveMA.com), achieved full functionality at approximately 5 p.m., on Monday. Customers are now able to view their E-ZPassMA and Pay By Plate accounts, pay their invoices, request a free transponder online, and perform all other available services. This new website has new features for commercial vehicle owners and has text options for Spanish and other languages.
With traffic expected to be impacted by the ongoing construction activities, drivers are advised to plan ahead and use the appropriate resources to make an informed decision regarding their travel plans. For traffic and road conditions, drivers may use the following options to make decisions:
• Travelers, before getting on the highway, may utilize the MassDOT Real-Time Traffic (“Go-Time”) informational displays which are set up along I-90 for east and westbound travel between Sturbridge and Boston by visiting this link: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/TrafficTravelResources/TrafficInformationMap.aspx
• The public may dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions on I-90 and other roads.
• Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
• Access MassDOT traffic cameras, including 10 new cameras on I-90 added this week: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/TrafficTravelResources/TrafficInformationMap.aspx
• Download Waze, the real-time traffic navigation app that provides motorists with real-time traffic conditions across Massachusetts.
• Download the Ridewise app. Customers may use Ridewise to obtain travel times for various routes including portions of I-90. The app is available on Android and iPhone. Drivers are advised not to use the app if they are operating a motor vehicle.
MassDOT suggests drivers may find these websites helpful:
• Travelers should visit http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/rail/ for the MBTA’s full commuter rail schedule and maps. They should note that the MBTA’s commuter rail line between Boston and Worcester stops at destinations in many of the communities along I-90.
• Access a map of the MBTA’s subway lines by visiting http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/subway/
• Visit http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/bus/ for the MBTA’s full bus schedule list and maps.
• See https://www.amtrak.com/lake-shore-limited-train for information on Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited route, which services Boston, Framingham, Worcester, Springfield and Pittsfield.
• Visit http://www.massridematch.org/ for further options on public, private, and non-profit transportation options.
Travelers should also visit the following websites of Regional Transit Authorities for information on public transportation in communities that are located near I-90:
• Berkshire Regional Transit Authority: http://www.berkshirerta.com
• Pioneer Valley Transit Authority: http://www.pvta.com
• Worcester Regional Transit Authority: http://www.therta.com
• MetroWest Regional Transit Authority: http://www.mwrta.com
Several days ago, MassDOT announced a “grace period” for drivers without transponders who then sign up for an E-Z PassMA account as the Commonwealth continues the transition to electronic tolling. For information, please visit: www.ezdrivema.com.
MassDOT appreciates the patience of the public during the transition from manual toll collection and believes community members will soon see the benefits of electronic tolls, including, an increase in safety, a lessening of traffic congestion, and a reduction of greenhouse gases.
MassDOT will continue to have a robust public outreach process to inform about the progress of toll plaza demolition, new lanes of traffic patterns on I-90, and other AET developments with the use of real-time signboards along roads, via its Twitter feed, (@MassDOT), and through other communication tools.
Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead and allow extra time for travel. Members of the public with concerns or questions can email Aetinfo@dot.state.ma.us. For more information about gantry rates and for other details about the implementation of the EZDriveMA program, please visit: www.massdot.state.ma.us/allelectronictolling