LIMA — The past few winters have been a study in contrasts, from near record snowfall levels three years ago to an extremely mild winter last year. However this winter will end up playing out, the Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 wants to assure residents and motorists that it is ready for whatever is to come.
The district has been inspecting vehicles and equipment and filling salt barns throughout October and into November in anticipation of the upcoming winter season, and for highway management administrator Rod Nuveman, the district is ready for what awaits them.
“We’ve done spot inspections on vehicles, and we go top to bottom,” he said. “It’s a 150-point inspection, and we do it this time of year because we want to be ready for whatever comes our way.”
ODOT has more than 1,800 snowplow trucks and 3,000 operators statewide to clear snow and ice from 43,000 miles of state, U.S. and interstate roadways. In District 1, ODOT has about 42,000 tons of salt on hand to use in its eight-county area.
“We can buy more than 30,000 tons additionally, if needed,” Nuveman said. “In a normal year, we use about 40,000 to 45,000 tons right now, and we’ve got that under our roof now. So if we have a normal winter, we’ll just use what we have, but if we get a terrible winter, we’ll have that plus another 30,000.”
Having the ability to make a brine with the salt at the Allen County garage helps ODOT pretreat roadways before a snow event to prevent ice and accumulation and help extend the supply of salt.
“It has the potential to be an amazing tool for us,” Nuveman said.
While ODOT works to ensure the roadways are clear and safe this winter, the department is also encouraging motorists to be proactive by downloading the OHGO mobile app, available from both the App Store and Google Play. According to ODOT, the app features winter road conditions and personalized traffic alerts with hands-free voice on the go.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.