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Governor Charlie Baker

MassDOT April
Board Meeting

April 10, 2017
Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Second Floor Board Room
Boston, MA 02150
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

MassDOT, MAPFRE Insurance Remind Motorists: Move Over Law

As spring approaches and we venture out on the roads, MassDOT and MAPFRE Insurance want to remind everyone of the importance of a law aimed at saving the lives of first responders.

View the entire Move Over Law blog post.

We have all seen police cars, state troopers, ambulances and the Highway Assistance Patrol, sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance, on the roadside helping broken down vehicles or other motorists in need of assistance. Not only is it important to "Move Over" so that these brave individuals can do their job, it is a requirement.

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March 17, 2017

MassDOT to Add Additional Work Zone Safety Features

MassDOT Highway logo

MassDOT will implement recommendations made by its Work Zone Safety Task Force in an effort to promote safety for highway workers, contractors, law enforcement personnel, motorists, and members of the public in work zones throughout the Commonwealth.

At this week's meeting of the MassDOT Board of Directors, Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin provided an update regarding the Work Zone Safety Task Force’s activities and progress thus far.

"MassDOT is committed to helping reduce motor vehicle crashes while also enhancing safety and facilitating effective operations throughout our work zones," said Administrator Tinlin. "Although many work zone crashes involve allegedly impaired drivers, our Task Force has recognized opportunities for further safety enhancements and has identified several initiatives that MassDOT will be pursuing during this upcoming construction season."

Some of these work zone safety initiatives include:

  • Flashing blue LED lights installed on portable trailers which can simulate the presence of a law enforcement vehicle and can be useful in work zones with limited police coverage. MassDOT has started initial testing with portable trailers retrofitted with flashing blue LED lights on two active construction projects on Route 2 and on I-190 and will continue testing these systems in the coming months.
  • Temporary portable rumble strips placed at the entrances of work zones to help alert distracted drivers with an audible warning and physical vibration to get their attention prior to entering a work zone. MassDOT plans to expand the use of portable rumble strips for high-speed (45mph and above) lane closures to help in reducing speed and alerting drivers that they are approaching a work area.
  • Work zone safety instructions included in driver’s education as there are currently no references to work zone safety in the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Driver’s Manual. Through the introduction of basic work zone safety principles during the education process, MassDOT hopes to produce better informed and prepared drivers.
  • The "take-five" huddle incorporated into more construction projects in order to reinforce safety habits and facilitate improved communication. This pre-setup meeting is used by some construction teams and contractors to review safety procedures and processes prior to each work session, and findings by the Task Force indicate that the meetings can be effective in promoting safety.

In response to several serious motor vehicle crashes that occurred in MassDOT work zones during the 2016 construction season, the Work Zone Safety Task Force was convened to analyze and evaluate work zone activities. The Task Force includes individuals from several MassDOT sections including Traffic and Safety Engineering, Construction, Legal, and Operations and Management, as well as subject matter experts from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Massachusetts State Police (MSP), the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPS), the Massachusetts Sheriff’s Associations, and Construction Industries of Massachusetts.

Since July 2016, when the Work Zone Safety Task Force was formed, until January 5, 2017, Massachusetts State Police documented 395 crashes within work zones under the jurisdiction of State Police in the state, which resulted in 181 injuries. A main connecting thread in many work zone incidents is alleged impaired driving from drunk, drugged, and drowsy drivers.

MassDOT Highway Assistance Operators Honored for Heroism

Members of the MassDOT Board, Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin, MAPFRE Insurance CEO Alfredo Costello and MAPFRE Executive Vice President Patrick McDonald honored Highway Assistance Patrol (HAP) operators Edgar J. Rodriguez and Michael Carroll for providing life-saving medical assistance while on duty last fall.

team photo

In November 2016, HAP Operators Rodriguez and Carrol responded to separate traffic incidents, assessed the situations upon arrival, and then performed CPR procedures and used Automated External Defibrillators that contributed to saving the lives of the individuals in distress.

"We commend HAP Operators Rodriguez and Carroll for their efforts to provide immediate medical assistance during these emergency situations," said Administrator Tinlin. "Each and every day, our HAP Operators perform extraordinary work and help keep all who travel along our roadways safe. Today, we honor these two individuals for their outstanding work, quick thinking, dedication, and heroism."

"I am very humbled to receive this great honor," said HAP Operator Carroll. "All the HAP Operators, as well as MassDOT staff and personnel, and our partners in law enforcement and emergency services work tirelessly to help anyone in need on our roadways and it is a great honor to receive this recognition."

"I am proud of our work to keep our highways safe and secure and I am honored to receive this award," said HAP Operator Rodriguez. "I hope this award will inspire others to help people whenever they can and do their part to make a difference in any type of situation."

For more information regarding the award recipients:

HAP Operator Edgar J. Rodriguez is a former U.S. Army Squad Leader who responded to an incident on I-93 southbound in Wilmington where a driver was pulled over onto the highway and required CPR and the use of an Automated External Defibrillator. Together with the Wilmington Police Department, HAP Operator Rodriguez performed this crucial medical assistance before other emergency service personnel arrived.

HAP Operator Michael Carroll responded to an incident on I-93 southbound in Woburn with an individual who required immediate medical assistance including CPR and the use of an Automated External Defibrillator. A Massachusetts State Police Trooper also administered Narcan as part of the medical assistance for this individual.

HAP provides emergency roadside assistance, sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance, for motorists whose vehicles break down on our roadways. The patrols provide rapid response clearance of disabled vehicles and removal of road debris.

HAP consists of 35 vehicles patrolling Massachusetts’ most highly traveled roadways. A total of 30 HAP operators cover 26 patrol routes logging an average of 982,000 miles patrolled annually. HAP patrols interstates, assists motorists, and keeps highways safe by performing the services such as changing flat tires, fixing minor mechanical problem, providing minimal amounts of fuel, and providing emergency medical assistance.

HAP patrols routes in Metro Boston, Worcester, Springfield, and Cape Cod (seasonal) during peak coverage hours, Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m., through 10:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m., through 7:00 p.m. with extended hours on I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) and extended holiday routes in heavy traffic areas. Additionally, Incident Response Vehicles assigned to Interstate 93, the Maurice Tobin J. Memorial Bridge, Ted Williams Tunnel, Sumner Tunnel and Callahan Tunnel patrol 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Learn more about the Highway Assistance Patrol

Hanover, Norwell Route 3 Bridges Replacement Approved

MassDOT Highway logo

MassDOT's Board of Directors has approved an approximately $29.4 million contract for work to replace bridges which carry vehicles traveling on Route 3 over roads in Hanover and Norwell.

This project, which involves replacing the bridge carrying Route 3 northbound and southbound over High Street in Norwell and the bridge carrying Route 3 northbound and southbound over Route 123, (Webster Street) in Hanover, is expected to begin this summer and be completed by 2020.

No long-term lane closures are proposed for this project as construction operations will be completed using short-term overnight lane closures for certain activities such as paving, bridge demolition and beam setting. The contract work will be done in such a way as to have as minimal impact as possible on drivers who travel on Route 3 and the surrounding roads.

The scope of work for this comprehensive project involves replacing existing steel bridges, increasing the vertical clearance under the bridges, constructing conventional concrete abutments, realigning Route 3 at each location, and paving areas as appropriate. Additionally, crews and contractors will install new guardrail, relocate utilities and conduct slope work at each location.

Construction operations will be completed in four primary stages in order to minimize the impact on the traveling public throughout the three-year project. During these stages, new bridges will be constructed in the median area at each location to accommodate traffic flow while the existing bridge superstructures and roadway approaches on the mainline are demolished and then reconstructed.

MassDOT encourages drivers to utilize the appropriate travel resources throughout the duration of this project and make informed decisions regarding travel plans. Those traveling through the area should be mindful of delays and potential traffic impacts, reduce speed, and use caution. MassDOT appreciates the patience of the public as this important project progresses through the construction phases.

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