UPDATE: State officials report crashes on area highways as snow slows travel

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A pickup truck pushes through snow on Route 9 in Southborough. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

REGION – State officials reported multiple crashes on area roadways on Friday morning as heavy snow slowed travel and created widespread hazardous conditions.

In Marlborough, a tractor trailer crash blocked two lanes of traffic on the southbound side of I-495 near the 495/290 interchange.

The state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) reported that incident just after 7 a.m., advising motorists to “expect delays.”

A separate crash in the eastbound lanes of I-290 prompted “moderate delays” near exit 27 in Northborough.

State Police troopers responded around 6:30 a.m., finding two vehicles with damage in the left lane and the breakdown lane respectively. Troopers closed the left lane of travel before clearing the scene around 7:15 a.m according to a State Police spokesperson.

There were no apparent injuries, although the accident was still under investigation as of 10:45 a.m.

State Police were still working to gather additional information on the Marlborough tractor trailer crash.

Snow to linger through afternoon

Snow overspread the region overnight. It is now expected to linger through the morning before possibly lightening up in the afternoon and evening, according to forecasters.

A winter storm warning remains in effect for much of the state through midnight, with as much as a foot of snow set to possibly fall before all is said and done.

Experts note that there is a chance that sleet and/or freezing rain will mix in as this storm pulls away.

Locally, municipalities and other organizations have announced widespread closures and cancellations as state and local emergency services ask residents to stay home, if possible.

“If you do not need to leave your house, don’t have to go to work, or you can work from home, please stay home,” Hudson firefighters wrote in a message on social media on Friday morning. “The DPW is working hard to maintain clear roads but they are still hazardous.”
“Stay safe and build a snowman,” they continued.

Storm adds to challenging winter for DPW crews

All this piles on top of a hectic winter for Department of Public Works staff across the region.

Wild swings in temperature through the first two months of 2022 have combined with heavy plowing activity to damage certain roads with worse-than-usual potholes.

Just this week, area communities saw record temperatures approach 70 degrees before then plunging behind a cold front in the hours before today’s winter blast.

As crews work to repair roads, that process of treating and clearing them in the event of winter weather is accruing a hefty bill, particularly as long-duration, messy storms rack up overtime and ice removal costs.

While communities like Southborough were “doing O.K” when contacted by the Community Advocate earlier this month, others, like Northborough, have noted dwindling budget balances.

“Fingers crossed that we have a very gentle remainder of February,” Northborough Director of Public Works Scott Charpentier told his town’s Board of Selectmen back on Feb. 14.

In Westborough, DPW Director Chris Payant said on Feb. 17, before this latest winter weather, that he anticipated that “additional funds will be allocated by the town for the current snow fighting season.”

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