ODOT crews persevere as winter weather continues
Salt supplies and manpower holding up
New Philadelphia, Ohio (Tuesday, February 16, 2010) – As winter storms continue to move in and out of the Ohio Valley, crews from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 persevere, working around-the-clock to keep roads and bridges cleared and passable.
ODOT District 11 Deputy Director Richard Bible, P.E., said, "Snow and ice removal is our signature service. We prepare all year for the winter season by training our drivers, readying our equipment, and stockpiling materials."
Although material usage is on the rise from last year, District 11 still has plenty of salt on-hand – more than half of its capacity, roughly 31,650 tons – across its seven counties and even more ordered. In addition, District 11 counties are fully staffed with crews working two, 12-hour shifts, ensuring around-the-clock coverage.
Bible said, "On average, we have about 85 crews on our roadways at any given time right now, treating our 3,329 lane miles, but we have over 200 drivers available and on-call to plow and treat the bridges and roadways in eastern Ohio."
Unfortunately, the extended forecasts do not seem to be improving. Weather forecasters continue to predict cold temperatures, snow showers, and high winds, creating blowing and drifting with potential whiteout conditions over the next 48-hours. Travel conditions can change from mile to mile, minute to minute; therefore, ODOT reminds motorists to:
- Avoid abrupt steering maneuvers; sudden movements can cause you to slide.
When merging into traffic, take it slow, especially on bridges, ramps and overpasses. Bridges and overpasses freeze first, because of the continuous airflow both above and below the structure.
Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly, and never slam on your brakes. Stopping on snow and ice requires extra time and distance, so allow plenty of room to stop.
On snow and ice, go slowly, no matter what type of vehicle you drive. Even if you drive an SUV with four-wheel drive, you may not be able to stop any faster, or maintain control any better, once you lose traction. Four-wheel drive may get you going faster, but it won’t help you stop sooner.
Bible said, "Winter conditions simply call for different driving tactics. Ice and snow, take it slow—slower speed, slower acceleration, slower steering, and slower braking."
For up-to-the-minute information on road and weather conditions, road closures, and highway patrol accident updates, visit ODOT’s Web site at www.buckeyetraffic.org – available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information contact:
Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, Public Information Officer, at (330) 308-3949
or email D11.PIO@dot.state.oh.us
ODOT District 11 serves Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties.