OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
DISTRICT 11 OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS – 2201 Reiser Ave. SE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663
ODOT District 11 Ready for First Snow
With emphasis on safety, fiscal responsibility and the environment
NEW PHILADELPHIA, OHIO (Thursday, October 15, 2009) – With an emphasis on safety, fiscal responsibility and the environment, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 is ready for the 2009-2010 Winter Season.
As cooler temperatures begin to register across the state, ODOT District 11 is beginning to prepare for winter weather by readying its fleet of snow-clearing equipment and highly-trained crews. Over the next three weeks, 118 trucks, along with many other pieces of equipment, will be inspected in east-central Ohio, and over 200 drivers will be prepped for ice and snow removal this season.
Across the state, ODOT will have more than 1,700 plow trucks and 3,000 drivers ready to clear ice and snow when the first storms arrive. During the winter, ODOT maintains nearly 43,000 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, which includes ramps, roadway shoulders and intersections, and over 1,000 bridges on the state highway system.
Although there is not a salt shortage this year, ODOT plans to continue its Smart Salt Strategy developed last year to be as fiscally responsible as possible. ODOT District 11 Deputy Director Richard Bible, P.E. said, "It’s pretty simple really – to keep our roadways safe, we will continue to use the right amounts of salt and manpower at the right times and locations; we want to be efficient as possible with all of our resources."
In addition, ODOT is working each day to become a more environmentally-conscious department and a green leader in the nation. As part of the department’s initiative, ODOT crews are reducing engine idle time on its large trucks – which reduces diesel emissions into the air – and are using more biodiesel as an alternative fuel whenever possible. For this effort, District 11 earned one of the state’s first "Ohio Green Fleets" certifications as a Three-Star Ohio Green Fleet, which means robust steps have been taken toward improving a fleet’s overall efficiency and emissions profile.
Officials from Clean Fuels Ohio, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority certified District 11’s entire fleet of snow plow trucks at the inaugural Ohio Green Fleets Award Ceremony in August 2009. Clean Fuels Ohio is a statewide nonprofit, organization dedicated to increasing the use of cleaner and energy-efficient domestic fuels and vehicles in order to improve air quality and health, reduce climate change, curb dependence on imported petroleum, and support Ohio’s economy.
Beyond the trucks and salt this winter season, 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.
Up-to-the-minute road conditions are always available by logging onto BuckeyeTraffic.org. Last winter, ODOT’s Web site received more than 32 million hits during the winter driving season.
For more information, contact: Scott Varner, Central Office Communications, at (614) 644-8640
or Becky McCarty, ODOT District 11 Communications Office, at (330) 308-3949.