WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – MassDOT is warning drivers to prepare for traffic on the MassPike Monday morning as toll booth demolition will continue across the state, including here in western Massachusetts.
If you usually get on the Pike to get to work in the morning, you’re going to want to plan ahead. Crews began tearing down the toll booths in parts of western Massachusetts Monday. Because of that, drivers will have to follow new traffic patterns, which includes squeezing through the outer lanes of the tollbooths.
Progress has been made statewide, by late Monday morning, the toll booths in West Stockbridge, Framingham, and Natick have been completely knocked-down.
This is all part of the state’s new all electronic tolling system, which went live on Friday. Every time you drive the Pike from now on, the overhead gantries will scan your E-Z Pass transponder, or take a picture of your license plate and send you a bill in the mail.
The demolition work on the toll booths means that there are 23 construction zones along I-90. MassDOT said the tollbooth demolition is expected to take about 22 days to complete.
MassDOT is warning drivers that the construction could slow them down, especially during the morning commute. They’re asking drivers to prepare the same way they would prepare for a winter storm:
- Take it slow
- Give yourself some extra time
- Obey the speed limit, which is 15 MPH near the toll plazas
MassDOT said drivers should follow the directions posted on signs near the toll plazas.
The state is offering a six-month grace period to help drivers who can’t get a transponder right away. You’ll still get a bill in the mail, and have to pay the full pay-by-plate price, but your account will be credited if your transponder is activated within the next 6-months. If you don’t have an E-Z Pass transponder, you’ll have to pay a surcharge on the MassPike.
MassDOT said just this weekend alone, the gantries have processed more than one million transactions, and MassDOT has processed more than 2,000 E-Z Pass transponders.
Over the weekend, there was also more than a hundred state troopers directing traffic, that number will increase during the workweek.
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