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DOT crews salted I-290 before crash

The westbound side of Interstate 290 in Worcester was closed for nearly five hours to allow towing crews to clear the road.

CHRISTINE PETERSON/WORCESTER TELEGRAM & GAZETTE

The westbound side of Interstate 290 in Worcester was closed for nearly five hours to allow towing crews to clear the road.

State Department of Transportation crews treated Interstate 290 in Worcester with a mixture of salt and brine at 5:45 a.m. Sunday, about an hour before icy road conditions triggered a crash there involving 65 vehicles, officials said.

DOT spokesman Michael Verseckes said Monday that the department activated its anti-icing forces in Central Massachusetts around 2:30 a.m. Sunday in response to weather forecasts. DOT focused on the southern corner of Worcester county and not on the stretch of
I-290 where the crashes occurred, said Verseckes.

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“In hindsight, we could have and should have done more at the time,’’ Verseckes said, adding that weather conditions changed too fast for DOT to redirect trucks to the area before the crashes began.

He said DOT records show that the DOT sprayed the crash site on the highway with “pre-wet’’ salt — road salt mixed with some brine to improve delivery to roadways — at 4:30 a.m. and again at 5:45 a.m.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@
globe.com
. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.
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