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Drivers jam up Mass. Pike to end Thanksgiving weekend

Several hours of post-Thanksgiving traffic caused backups on portions of the Massachusetts Turnpike Sunday afternoon and evening, state officials said.

In Connecticut, authorities said two people died on the state’s roadways during the holiday weekend, and police had pulled over hundreds of drivers for speeding, and dozens more for driving under the influence.

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The busiest traffic in Massachusetts Sunday was around Sturbridge and Charlton in the eastbound lanes of the turnpike and the eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 where the highway intersects with Interstate 90, according to state Transportation Department spokeswoman Sara Lavoie. She said that westbound travel was also slow going for a while.

Congestion on state roadways had cleared by about 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Transportation Department spokesman Michael Verseckes said.

Two minor vehicle crashes on the turnpike near Exit 11A in the Westborough area occurred at 2:40 p.m., said David Procopio, a spokesman for the State Police. The crashes caused lengthy backups, he said.

State Police in Connecticut said they had responded to about 350 accidents, two of which were fatal, during the holiday weekend, according to the Associated Press. From midnight on Wednesday through late afternoon Sunday, Connecticut State Police charged 60 people with driving under the influence, issued nearly 1,500 speeding tickets, cited drivers for more than 2,800 hazardous moving violations, and wrote up 80 people who failed to wear seat belts.

The numbers, while striking, were similar to 2011: On the Thanksgiving holiday weekend last year, Connecticut troopers said they responded to 389 accidents, two of which were fatal; charged 65 people with DUI; and issued about 1,376 speeding tickets, 2,745 citations for moving violations, 417 for not wearing seat belts.

Massachusetts State Police did not give similar traffic data.

Those traveling by air and rail had smoother journeys, aided in part by calm weather across the nation, officials said.

Logan Airport was free-flowing and without delays as of early Sunday evening.

“Everything is great at the airport,” said Danny Levy, a spokeswoman for Massport . “There are no major issues. Things are going well.”

Amtrak trains rolled along as planned, spokeswoman Christina Leeds said.

“Service is running very smoothly, very busy, but everything is on schedule,” she said early Sunday evening.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said public transit experienced “no significant issues.” He said during the holiday weekend the only part of the system with typically more ridership is the Silver Line route to and from Logan Airport.

Derek J. Anderson can be reached at derek.anderson@globe.com. Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com.
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