The Democratic National Convention is bringing highway and lane closures to Boston, especially at I-93, during afternoon and evening hours for security concerns. The Massachusetts Motor Transport Association (MMTA) warned of significant delays from July 26 through 29, but also noted that Monday morning’s commute was light.
“Hopefully this carries over in the afternoon when the ramps start closing at 12 p.m.,” MMTA executive director Anne Linch said, adding that the closures will affect both interstate and intrastate commercial traffic.
Thomas DiSilva, president of Webster Trucking said that so far there hasn’t been any major impact.
“We rearranged appointment times and communicated with the customers,” DiSilva said, adding that Webster has not been able to operate under the MMTA’s suggested 2- to 10 a.m. schedule. “We’re going by what the customer puts up with— they really drive the whole process. It’s hard to find grocery stores open at 3 a.m. to receive the shipment.”
Gary Petty, president of the National Private Truck Council (NPTC), urges shippers to adjust to the inevitable delays. “There’s going to have to be tremendous flexibility at the risk of not having the product on shelves,” Petty said. “In a 24/7 world we can’t have shippers working banker’s hours.”
LTL carrier Overnite Transport Co. has already warned that there will be “unavoidable” freight pickup and delivery delays as a result of the road closures.
MMTA has issued the following statements:
For the best traffic conditions, make deliveries between 2 a.m.– 6 a.m., and complete all deliveries by 10 a.m. if possible.
If you are carrying hazardous cargo, avoid Boston unless your delivery ends there.
Allow for extra time because there is an anticipated delay of 2 ½ hours, and all trucks will be inspected traveling I-93 north- and southbound from Braintree to Woburn.
No vehicles will be allowed within Causeway Street to Washington Street, to New Chardon to Merrimack after noon. If you need to make a delivery in this area after noon, park at Portsmouth and Ballenti Way and walk your deliveries in.
Tankers hauling hazmat liquids are not allowed through the tunnel on I-93, however, non-hazmat may pass.
For much more detail on lane and road closures, go to MTTA’s website.