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 ODOT's Snow & Ice Program



 About the Program


The Snow and Ice Program begins with our county operations.  The County Manager takes steps to adequately plan and prepare for the approaching winter season.  This plan includes equipment readiness, truck routing, call out procedures, supplemental drivers, emergency equipment rental, training, and material inventory control.  The County Manager coordinates this preseason plan with his or her District Highway Administrator (HMA).  The HMA is responsible for integrating the preseason plans of all the Counties in his or her District to ensure the efficiency of the District's overall snow and ice control operations.  


 Preparing for a Weather Event


Prior to the onset of an unusual weather event, the County Manager, with the assistance of District, is responsible for planning and organizing his or her response to the event.  This would include performing an analysis of issues such as the anticipated storm duration; available manpower and equipment; traffic problems; and material stockpiles.  The County Manager keeps the District Radio Dispatcher (if used) and State Radio Dispatchers informed about roadway conditions, weather conditions and the number of crews actively participating in snow and ice control operations in the County.


 ODOT Resources and Program Costs


ODOT has available 1700 trucks with plows and 650,000 tons of salt stored at 200 locations around the state.  The average cost for winter operations is $50 million.  This cost includes labor, equipment, and materials.  During the winter months roughly 3,000 ODOT employees are available for snow and ice removal.  The salt use varies from 300,000 tons to 900,000 tons, depending upon the weather. 


 ODOT Responsibilities


ODOT is responsible for 43,000 lane miles of highways statewide, which are prioritized for snow and ice control.  Interstates are the highest priority, followed by four lane non-interstates, two lane primary roads and two lane secondary roads.  Truck plowing routes are based on local needs, with key transportation areas, emergency routes and traffic volumes being factors in the selection process.


 How You Can Help!



Motorists can also help snow and ice control efforts by following a few smart winter driving tips:

  • LEAVE EARLY - Expect any trip to take double the normal amount of time.

  • PLAN YOUR ROUTE - Avoid steep upgrades and lightly traveled roads where deep snow drifts may form.

  • SLOW DOWN - Slick pavement means reduced traction and loss of control.  On snow or ice the posted speed limit is NOT a safe speed.

  • INCREASE FOLLOWING DISTANCE - It can take from 3 to 10 times farther to stop on winter-slick pavement than on a dry road.  Allow a large gap between yourself and the car ahead of you.

  • STOP GRADUALLY - Never slam on your brakes in ice or snow.



 Snow and Ice Links