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ODOT targets ice and snow on bridges and overpasses
Motorists Reminded: "Ice and Snow… Take It Slow"

COLUMBUS (Thursday, December 3, 2009)As temperatures drop across the state on a regular basis, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is targeting bridges and overpasses to keep them free of frost and black ice.

Safety experts at ODOT warn that because bridges and overpasses are up in the air away from warm ground surfaces, they freeze first. ODOT crews use calibrated salt spreaders; they are on every ODOT snowplow. This technology allows crews to adjust the types of ice-melting materials required for each particular situation and the most effective application rates for particular temperature ranges, roadway types and weather conditions.

ODOT combats icing on bridges – more than 14,000 across the state – by pre-treating them before winter storms with a saltwater mixture called brine. Once applied to the road, the water evaporates leaving a salt powder which starts working as soon as conditions are right for ice to form. ODOT also pre-wets salt with brine to help the rock salt stick to the road surface.

Last winter there were 44,000 crashes on Ohio roadways with nearly 9,000 injuries and 80 deaths. Driving too fast for road conditions – one of the leading causes of crashes – contributed to 9,164 crashes last winter.

ODOT has more than 1,700 plow trucks and more than 3,000 drivers ready to clear ice and snow.

Staying alert and being a careful and informed driver is the best way motorists can travel safely this winter. ODOT’s best advice: in "Ice and snow… Take it Slow."

Know Before You Go: Up-to-the-minute road conditions are always available by logging onto BuckeyeTraffic.org. During events, road conditions are updated as often as necessary, with information such as current weather, roadway surface temperature, general roadway conditions, traffic speed, and how many ODOT trucks are working in the area.

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For more information contact: Paula Putnam (Central Office Communications) at 614-728-8915 or Mark Ziaja District 12 Communications Office at 216-584-2007