ODOT Crews launch Smart Salt Strategy in State’s First Snow Event
Motorists reminded: Ice and Snow…Take It Slow
COLUMBUS (Wednesday, October 29, 2008) – With the state’s first winter weather event underway in Northeast Ohio - where up to four inches of snow have fallen in Portage County alone - crews with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) are launching a Smart Salt Strategy for keeping highways safe, by using the right amounts of salt, materials and manpower at the right times and right locations.
And motorists across the state are reminded that in “Ice and Snow… Take it Slow.”
ODOT weather sensors in Portage County reported as much as four inches of snow this morning. Crews were dispatched to use snow-melting brine and salt along the highways where snow has accumulated most. Crews will be pre-treating bridge decks in Delaware and Crawford counties, where the forecast calls for the possibility of frost or icing on bridges.
Earlier this week, ODOT crews in the Cleveland-area were dispatched to pre-treat ramps and bridges, after reports of sleet and freezing rain. And in Medina County, crews were able to maintain safety and remove snow by plowing only, allowing the warm temperature of the road to keep ice away – without the need for salt.
ODOT’s Smart Salt Strategy was developed to help the state be 30 percent more efficient with salt use and still ensure continued safe and passable conditions. Like most Midwest states, Ohio has seen a dramatic increase in the price of salt needed to treat roadways and bridges.
This Smart Salt Strategy includes the use of infrared temperature sensors which allow crews to see the exact surface temperature of the roadways and apply materials only where needed; calibrated salt spreaders, found on every ODOT snow plow, to allow crews to adjust the application of ice-melting materials; and road-gripping additives (sand or grit) mixed with salt and brine to provide more traction for vehicles, especially on less-travelled roadways.
Beyond the plows and salt this winter season, ODOT encourages drivers to be prepared. The first snow storm usually seems to be the worst because many motorists forget the winter driving skills they developed last year. 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 premiere website received more than 117 million hits during the winter driving season.
For more information contact: Scott Varner, ODOT Communications, at (614) 644-8640
or your local ODOT District Communications Office.