ODOT: Ice and Snow… Ready to Go!
Equipment ready to keep roads safe during winter weather
COLUMBUS (Monday, October 5, 2009) - As the first cool temperatures begin to register across the state, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is readying its statewide fleet of snow-clearing equipment and highly-trained crews for the 2009-2010 winter season.
Over the next several weeks, ODOT teams will perform county-by-county Operational Readiness Events - a series of inspections, tests and fine-tuning of equipment - aimed at ensuring every snow plow, truck, and spreader is road ready.
“ODOT will be ready to go, before the first snow,” said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris. “Training and preparation in the fall are the keys to keeping our roadways safe throughout the winter. Years of experience and on-going education make ODOT’s drivers some of the best in the nation at keeping roads and bridges safe and passable during even the worst ice and snow conditions.”
This season, ODOT will have more than 1,700 plow trucks and more than 3,000 trained drivers ready to clear ice and snow from the state’s roadways and bridges. ODOT maintains nearly 43,000 lane miles of state highway, which carries approximately two thirds of the state’s daily traffic.
To date, snow-melting materials - including more than 697,000 tons of salt - have been stocked at various locations throughout the state in preparation for the 2009-2010 winter season. Plow operators and mechanics will be double-checking equipment to make sure it works properly. On average, ODOT uses approximately 700,000 tons of salt and invests approximately $59 million per year (including labor) on ice and snow control.
The first snow storm usually seems to be the worst because many motorists don’t remember the winter driving skills they developed last 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 www.BuckeyeTraffic.org. Last winter, ODOT’s premiere 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 your local ODOT District Communications Office.