Some slowdowns hit the roads ahead of Thanksgiving

Early or not, by 11:30 a.m., southbound traffic on Rt 93 was crawling.
Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff
Early or not, by 11:30 a.m., southbound traffic on I-93 was crawling.

There were significant slowdowns on the Massachusetts Turnpike westbound in central Massachusetts Wednesday evening, on what is widely considered to be one of the busiest travel days of the year.

However, the Boston metro area appeared fairly clear of traffic jams as rush hour in the city came to a close.

As drivers made their way out of town ahead of Thanksgiving, cars crawled along at under 30 miles per hour around 5:45 p.m. on the stretch of the Mass. Pike starting in the Westborough area and ending past the exit for I-290 in Auburn.


The Braintree split also saw significant congestion late Wednesday afternoon, although by 5:55 p.m., traffic was moving through that interchange at more than 50 miles per hour, according to the state.

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Traffic was also moving at close to regular speeds on other major thoroughfares, including the eastbound and westbound sides of the Mass. Pike between Boston and I-495, and both sides of I-93 from Dorchester all the way to Methuen, according to the state.

Traffic improved on some major roads as afternoon turned to evening. Interstate 93 had been slow in both directions leaving the city around 1 p.m., with slow speeds particularly affecting drivers south of the city up until the Braintree split, according to traffic monitors.

MassDOT had said Wednesday morning that the I-93 South HOV lane would open two hours early, at 1 p.m., to accommodate the Thanksgiving travel rush.

Officials also urged drivers to check travel times before hitting the roads.


Drivers were dealing with rainy conditions earlier Wednesday, but the weather was drying out by the evening.

The navigation app Waze had previously predicted that Thanksgiving traffic in Boston would peak Wednesday between 2 and 4 p.m. The predictions were based on driving data from November 2016.

Christina Prignano can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.