MassDOT advises drivers to plan ahead for Columbus Day travel

Free coffee will be served some service plazas along state highways on Monday night from 10 p.m. to Tuesday at 5 a.m.

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation advises the public to plan ahead for travel during the upcoming Columbus Day holiday weekend.

The MassDOT says it is one of the busiest weekends of the year on state highways, and the public should take note of special holiday schedules.

Traffic congestion should be expected during late afternoon hours on Thursday and Friday, on highways heading toward popular fall destinations including Cape Cod, New Hampshire, and Maine, said the MassDOT.

The Boston I-93 southbound HOV lane will open early on Thursday at 2 p.m. and on Friday at 1 p.m. The HOV lane will not be open on Monday.

Free coffee will be served at more than a dozen service plazas along state highways on Monday night from 10 p.m. to Tuesday at 5 a.m. The plazas serving free coffee include 11 service plazas along I-90, plus plazas along Route 3 in Plymouth, Route 128 in Beverly, Route 128/I-95 in Newton and Lexington, route 6 in Barnstable, and the Route 24 northbound and southbound plazas.

Drivers are encouraged t plan ahead, allow extra time for travel and take advantage of the many communication tools now available to help trips go smoothly, said the MassDOT.