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ODOT Ready for Approaching Winter Storm
All equipment prepared for service

LIMA (Monday, January 31, 2011) - The Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 is on full alert with equipment and personnel ahead of the approaching winter storm which is expected to begin with freezing rain this evening.

“We have over 90 trucks across our eight-county district which will be put into service beginning tonight,” said Kirk Slusher, Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 deputy director. “Our crews will be out around the clock for the duration of the storm,” he said.

ODOT District 1 includes Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Wyandot counties.

State officials are concerned with a widespread icing event which is then expected to turn to snow. This unusual event – predicted to be the largest and longest winter event this year – has the potential to impact power lines causing outages and causing limbs to fall on roadways. Winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour are expected to cause drifting across roadways.

Locally, ODOT is preparing for the upcoming storm by pretreating roadways and readying trucks and all auxiliary equipment such as graders, backhoes and dozers in the event they are needed.
“We are preparing everything we have in our arsenal for this event and we ask the public’s cooperation with giving our drivers the room they need to operate,” said Slusher.
In addition, district personnel are testing auxiliary power generators to be sure all ODOT facilities remain operating in the event of a power failure.
Power outages could mean a loss of power to traffic signals. Motorists are cautioned to abide by Ohio Revised Code which states that an inoperable traffic signal should be treated as a four-way stop. “Do not assume you have the right-of-way. All motorists are required to stop at a dark, inoperable signal,” said Slusher.

Drivers are also cautioned to take extra care on ramps, overpasses and bridges as they tend to freeze first.
Buckeye Traffic, the state’s premier road and weather information site, is the best source for motorists to check travel conditions statewide. Log on to www.buckeyetraffic.org.
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For more information contact:
Rhonda Pees, Public Information Officer, at (419) 999-6803
or email D01.PIO@dot.state.oh.us