• For informational/historical purposes only.

  • NEWS RELEASE

    Ohio Department of Transportation Internet News Release
    November 3, 2000

     

    ODOT Prepared to Battle Winter Weather

    Columbus- Winter will soon arrive to cover Ohio in snow and ice, but the Ohio Department of Transportation has been preparing for months to ensure the state's highways will be safe for motorists traveling in Ohio this winter.

    "The department's highest priority during the winter is the safety of motorists," said ODOT Director Gordon Proctor. " As construction winds down for the season, we begin focusing on our next great task- snow and ice control. Both the people and the economy of Ohio depend on the ability to travel our highways year-round, and ODOT will work to keep the highways open and safe."

    ODOT's 1,500 trucks and almost 3,000 on-call staff treat the highway network with anti-icing agents including salt, and calcium chloride. These treatments are intended to stop ice before it forms, as well as break up existing ice on the road. Additionally, ODOT applies grit to roads to improve traction for vehicles. Statewide, the department currently has about 410,000 tons of salt stockpiled for this winter.

    As part of the department's 2001 Strategic Initiatives, ODOT will add the latest technology to its winter weather program in order to provide the best possible service to Ohio. Adding state-of-the-art technology means ODOT will be able to monitor highway conditions during storms via pavement sensors. While in limited use now, eventually the sensors will be installed statewide, giving site-specific information to county garages which can then tailor their response based on the data.

    "The sensors will give us valuable information like pavement temperature and condition," said Mary Ellen Kimberlin, ODOT assistant director of Highway Management. " They will act like additional eyes for ODOT, spotting severe weather conditions on the highways and reporting it back to us, so we can prioritize our response and more efficiently clear the roads."

    As always, the department urges drivers to use caution when traveling in winter weather. "The posted speed limit is not a safe speed when conditions are slick," said Kimberlin. "Drivers should allow about twice the normal time, and leave double the safe following distance between them and the vehicle in front of them." Drivers should also be aware of the ODOT plow trucks on the road and use caution when driving near them. 

    For more information regarding winter weather road conditions, visit the Ohio Transportation Information System (OTIS) on the ODOT Web site.