COLUMBUS – Champaign County has seen its first snow of the season and the Ohio Department of Transportation is making final preparations to ensure equipment and employees are ready for Old Man Winter.
Each of ODOT’s 1,629 trucks is receiving a 150-point check as part of annual county-by-county Operational Readiness Inspections. This gives ODOT’s 273 mechanics a chance to identify any equipment issues and make necessary repairs before the snow begins to fall.
“When people think of ODOT, one of the first things they think of is our ability to clear snow and ice from the road,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “It’s a job we take very seriously because we know it is vital to making sure people and goods can safely reach their destination.”
ODOT’s goal is to have primary routes back up to speed within two hours of the end of a storm. It’s a goal that ODOT crews met 97 percent of the time last winter.
This past winter was one of the busiest for ODOT with crews spending more than 1.1 million hours battling snow and ice. Snowplow trucks were driven 10,563,562 miles. That’s like 22 trips to the moon and back. ODOT used 954,215 tons of salt and 14,532,254 gallons of liquid deicers to treat 43,479 lane miles of roadway.
ODOT asks people to give their drivers plenty of room to work. Plow trucks typically move much slower than other traffic, so ODOT warns people to be extra alert when driving near them. Last winter, ODOT trucks were struck 64 times.
The newly redesigned OHGO.com allows people to see real-time travel conditions with more than 600 traffic cameras, weather sensors and traffic alerts. People also can receive customized traffic alerts with the OHGO app for Android devices and the iPhone.
Submitted by the Ohio Department of Transportation.