BECKET, Mass. — The state Department of Transportation will begin blasting tons of ledge on Thursday on the eastbound side of the Massachusetts Turnpike.
The blasting is intended to reduce any hazards related to falling rock or rock debris and allow for the removal of the temporary barrier that is now in place.
The first blast, a test blast, will occur on I-90 in Becket at 1 p.m. on Thursday and close the Turnpike in both directions for approximately 15 minutes. The results of the test blast will be used to determine the intensity and frequency of future blasts.
Drivers should note 15-minute complete closures of the MassPike eastbound and westbound will be planned during midday hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays into the early summer. Portal message boards will post the time of each blast, one day prior to the blast, to help motorists plan their commutes.
State police will gradually slow traffic and bring it to a complete stop at a safe distance from the blasting zone. In the event of severe weather, blasting would be postponed.
MassDOT awarded the $2.3 million ledge removal contract to JH Maxymillian of Pittsfield in September.
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