ODOT District 11 Working for Winter before first snowflake falls
New Philadelphia, Ohio (Monday, October 4, 2010) – Although fall just began, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 is already "Working for Winter" in east-central Ohio by inspecting every snowplow and salt spreader in its fleet to make sure they are road ready when the first snowflake falls.
The reason: a report showing that if Ohio’s transportation system shut down for even just one day because of snow and ice, Ohio workers could lose as much as $200 million in wages and paychecks.
"ODOT is ‘working for winter’ to ensure that Ohio’s economic engine never stops running, even when snow and ice blanket our state," said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris. "Whenever the first snow falls, ODOT’s crews will be ready – to make sure Ohioans can safely get to work, goods can get to market on-time, and vital services are accessible all across the state."
Over the next four weeks, ODOT teams will be inspecting, testing and fine tuning snow removal equipment as well as stockpiling materials in east-central Ohio as part of county-by-county Operational Readiness Events.
According to a report by the American Highway Users Alliance (AHUA), if Ohio’s transportation system were to shut down for one day due to a winter storm, the total economic impact would cause the state to lose more than $300 million in direct and indirect productivity.
The report says snow-related shutdowns affect hourly workers the most. In all, Ohio workers could lose more than $205 million in direct and indirect wages, according to the research. Ohio would also lose vital tax revenue – as much as $11.4 million in state and local taxes, and $15 million in federal taxes – in just one day.
ODOT District 11 Deputy Director Richard Bible, P.E. said, "Just as construction work this summer Ignited Ohio’s Economic Engine by creating and maintaining jobs, ODOT is committed to Working for Winter to keep Ohio’s businesses, schools and service agencies open and people working." Last winter, ODOT used 665,244 tons of salt and invested $78 million in ice and snow control.
This season, ODOT will have more than 1,700 plow trucks and more than 3,000 drivers across the state ready to clear ice and snow. Locally, District 11 has 118 plow trucks and more than 200 trained drivers. During the winter, ODOT maintains over 44,000 lane miles of state highway, which carries approximately two-thirds of the state’s daily traffic. District 11 is responsible for treating 3,329 lane miles of roadway, including ramps, roadway shoulders and intersections, and over 1,000 bridges on the state highway system. To date, snow-melting materials – including more than 54,600 tons of salt – have been stocked at various locations throughout the region in preparation for this winter season.
Beyond the trucks and salt, ODOT will continue to encourage driver preparedness. The first snow storm usually seems to be the worst, because many motorists forget the winter driving skills they developed the previous year. Being a careful and informed driver is the best way motorists can travel safely. ODOT’s best advice: in Ice and Snow… Take it Slow. Additionally, up-to-the-minute road conditions are always available by logging onto BuckeyeTraffic.org. Last winter, ODOT’s Web site was visited 131 million times, up from 32 million during the 2008-2009 Winter.
For more information contact:
Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, Public Information Officer, at (330) 308-3949
or email D11.PIO@dot.state.oh.us