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Crashes on Mass. Pike cause afternoon delays

As commuters rushed back to work on the Massachusetts Turnpike Tuesday morning after the holiday weekend, some were met with seemingly endless bumper-to-bumper traffic.

The delays were caused by a combination of residual holiday travelers, a disabled tractor-trailer, and a long-term construction project, said State Police spokesman David Procopio.

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Mike Verseckes, state Department of Transportation spokesman, said the traffic was worse this morning than it has been in the past 12 weeks.

“We typically see a decline in the overall volume of traffic in the area over summer months, as people go on vacation and take advantage of the nicer weather,” Verseckes said. “But as September rolls around, especially after Labor Day, we see that volume really pick up.”

Holiday travelers experienced major delays Monday as they fled Cape Cod and headed back toward Boston. Those who tried to avoid the traffic by leaving a day late compounded the congestion this morning.

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Verseckes said a minor crash early Tuesday on the eastbound side of the Turnpike in the victinity of Commonwealth Avenue started the morning off badly.

A tractor-trailer disabled in the center lane of the Pike in Newton around 10:30, said Nicole Morrell, a State Police spokeswoman.

According to a tweet by State Police late Tuesday, a multi-car crash on the Mass. Pike east in Lee added to the residual delays on the Pike. Another crash on the Mass. Pike east in Newton caused “heavy delays” for the afternoon commute.

A $22.3 million construction project on a stretch has also been causing delays for travelers on the Pike since July, when the left lanes on both sides were blocked by concrete barriers.

Trisha Thadani can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @TrishaThadani.
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