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ODOT Clean Up Crew

ODOT Crews targeting Debris, Dark Traffic Signals in Wake of Wind Storm

Ohioans accessing up-to-date traffic information on www.BuckeyeTraffic.org

COLUMBUS (Tuesday, September 16, 2008) – With highway crews working into a third day of clean-up efforts in response to the major wind storm that swept through Ohio Sunday, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has been able to significantly reduce the numbers of state roadways closed by debris and traffic signals darkened by electrical outages.

As of 3:00pm Tuesday afternoon, only 11 state roadways were closed and 1 roadway restricted due to debris, generally large fallen tree limbs and electrical lines. Most of those roadways still affected are in the Central and Southwest areas of the state, including:

  • The closure of State Route 229 in Delaware County, which could last 3-7 days due to downed power lines.
  • Two inside lanes of both I-71 North and I-71 South in Hamilton County will remain closed into tonight while crews repair a major break in a water main.
  • State Route 132 in Clermont County was recently closed when a truck pulled down low hanging power lines.

Meanwhile, ODOT crews have restored function to several hundred traffic lights along the state system, reducing the number of outages from Monday’s high of 438 signals to 245 signals (a sixth of the total number of signals on ODOT-maintained roads). The majority of the non-functioning traffic signals are concentrated in the Cincinnati metropolitan area, Dayton/Miamisburg, Akron/Canton, and parts of Central Ohio.

When possible, ODOT crews are using generators to power traffic signals, prioritizing intersections with the highest traffic volumes and greatest safety concerns. ODOT’s traffic safety experts also warn that if you come to an intersection with a non-functioning traffic signal, treat it as a four-way stop.

For the latest updates on travel conditions and roadway restrictions, Ohioans have been turning to www.BuckeyeTraffic.org, ODOT’s premier map-based traffic website. Registering thousands of hits a day, BuckeyeTraffic.org offers Ohio motorists clear and user-friendly information, as well as access to live traffic cameras and weather sensors, for the latest road conditions and potential detours.

Following Governor Ted Strickland’s statewide declaration of emergency Monday, ODOT will be working with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency to offer assistance to local communities in removing debris from roadways. So far, ODOT crews have been asked to assist efforts in Greene County.

Citizens seeking to dispose of tree limbs from their yards should contact the refuse collection agency in their local community for information on special collection times, locations, and restrictions.

For more information of the statewide efforts, news media can contact the Joint Information Center
at the Ohio Emergency Operations Center at (614) 799-6483.

Additional information can be found by contacting Scott Varner, ODOT Communications, at (614) 644-8640 or your local ODOT District Communications Office.