ODOT “Suits Up” and Prepares for Winter
District 11 to Use Social Media to Keep Motorists Informed this Winter
NEW PHILADELPHIA, OHIO (October 11, 2011) – Armed with power tools and wrenches, 19 mechanics from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 region are “suiting up” to inspect, test and fine tune each piece of snow removal equipment to ensure it is ready for battle this winter season.
“Snow and ice removal is one of our core services and is vital to keeping Ohioans safe and our economy running each winter,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “Our county garages do a great job to make sure our equipment is fully operational and ready to plow the roads.”
In the coming weeks, ODOT mechanics statewide will perform a 142-point inspection on more than 1,700 snowplows – 119 in District 11, including brakes, lights, fluids and other important safety and mechanical items.
“Our mechanics implement a very strict inspection of each piece of equipment,” said Division of Operations Deputy Director Sonja Simpson. “Winter readiness events are vital to our overall winter maintenance strategy to certify each snowplow, truck and spreader is winter ready.”
This season, ODOT will have more than 3,000 trained drivers ready to clear snow and ice from nearly 40,000 lane miles of state roadways and bridges. State highways carry approximately two thirds of Ohio’s daily traffic.
Almost as important as the snow removal equipment to ODOT’s efforts during the winter is the department’s up-to-date road condition information shared to the public through its Web sites. With user-friendly, map-based features, ODOT’s BuckeyeTraffic Web site had more than 163 million hits last winter. To build upon the successes of www.BuckeyeTraffic.org, ODOT District 11 is now offering information using the very popular social networking sites of Twitter and Facebook.
ODOT District 11 Deputy Director Lloyd MacAdam said, “Twitter accounts were established for Ohio’s six largest metropolitan areas two winters ago, and now we’ve developed an account for eastern Ohio and a way to link our road conditions available on BuckeyeTraffic during the winter months to Twitter. When conditions change or posts are made to BuckeyeTraffic.org in one of District 11’s seven counties, a ‘tweet’ will be sent to our followers.” Designed to give motorists updated information before they leave their home or workplace, “tweets” will help drivers better prepare for the conditions they may face in their travels.
Being a careful and informed driver is the best way motorists can travel safely. For the latest news and updates from Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
For more information, contact:
Steve Faulkner, Central Office Communications, at 614-644-7101
or Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, ODOT District 11 Communications Office, at 330-308-3949