Hundreds of crews work nonstop to treat roads across region

Hundreds of crews have been nonstop after a massive winter storm dropped record snow for some along with rain, freezing rain and sleet through today across the region.

Many area counties remain under a snow emergency, meaning roads may be hazardous, with blowing and drifting snow.

RTA CEO Robert Ruzinsky said RTA buses on Friday have been running as scheduled and all routes are being served. He said most RTA routes operate on major streets and the RTA is working with various jurisdictions to keep the roads salted and cleared.

“Of course the weather is impacting all of us, and some buses have run a little behind schedule, but with safety being our first priority, we are good with that and our riders understand,” Ruzinsky said.

Dayton, like many municipalities, says on its website it prioritizes busier streets and main streets and plows side streets last. In a Facebook post, the city said crews had been out working since 3 a.m. Thursday.

Kettering spokeswoman Mary Azbill said primary routes – including Far Hills Avenue, Shroyer Road, Dorothy Lane and Rahn Road – have been plowed and salted. Crews are working on secondary routes, such as Lincoln Park, through the morning and into the afternoon. The city will start clearing neighborhoods once the secondary routes are plowed, she said.

Greene County Engineer Stephanie Goff on Friday morning offered an update on conditions there:

“Roads are snow covered and slick across the county. As 12 hours ends for some drivers, it’s reload and head out for 12 more hours for others. The night crew have been working through the night and our day crew is taking over at 7 a.m. The night crew will be back in at 7 p.m. tonight after getting some much needed sleep,” Goff posted on the engineer’s Facebook page.

Dangerous driving conditions caused crashes across the area Thursday, including crashes that briefly closed Interstate 75 through downtown Dayton between Edwin C. Moses Boulevard and Stanley Avenue. All ramps onto and off I-75 in Dayton were closed, but since reopened after road crews treated them.

Closures also happened at times on Thursday on I-75 in Shelby County and I-70 in Clark County.

Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Matt Bruning said Friday morning nearly 1,300 crews were out across the state at 5 a.m.

“Travel conditions remain challenging and hazardous. Please stay home this morning. If you can’t, allow yourself a lot of extra travel time,” Bruning said.

Dayton had 44 snow plows and trucks on the road Thursday treating Dayton streets, and ODOT Dayton said that 127 crews are working across the Miami Valley.

Tiffany Oliphant, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Transportation, said many counties are on 12-hour shifts treating Miami Valley roads. She said ODOT has also seen less traffic within their jurisdiction, which helped crews to clear the ice and snow from the roads.

“Once the snow stops and the sun comes out this allows us to get ahead of conditions,” Oliphant said.

West Carrollton City Manager Brad Townsend said the city is working on plowing the side streets.

“With the ice and then snow coming down at a rapid pace, the plow crews spent most of their time trying to keep the main routes open,” he said.

He said city workers couldn’t get into the subdivision plots as much on Thursday night and planned to work on them on Friday.

Crashes have caused disruptions to traffic as well as road crews’ ability to clear snow.

The ODOT Dayton Twitter account reported around 7 a.m. Thursday a crash on I-75 South near I-675 was expected to close a lane. A second crash was reported around 9 a.m. on I-75 South at Neff and Wagner Ford roads. Other crashes have followed in the region.

“We can’t say it enough … Please avoid unnecessary travel,” the account said.

Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner said Thursday he has snow plows and salt trucks treating the roads and expects they will be out all day.

“We’re doing the best we can,” Gruner said. “It iced up in some spots.”

He asked that residents stay off the roads if possible.

“It’s just a lot right now.”

Earlier Thursday, sleet falling in Dayton outpaced snow plow trucks in the city, the city said on social media.

“Public Works is working to keep the sleet broken up prior to snow accumulation,” the city said.