ODOT crews preparing ahead of overnight snow showers

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Ohio Department of Transportation crews are getting ready for widespread snow showers expected to move into Ohio tonight and Friday morning.

The National Weather Service is forecasting 1 to 3 inches of snow for most, with communities north of Interstate 70 seeing as much as 3 to 5 inches.

While snow showers are possible throughout today, widespread snow isn’t expected until tonight and tomorrow morning.

ODOT crews were already out Thursday preparing the equipment and roads. Salt is the department’s main tool to fight snow, but it loses effectiveness once pavement temperatures drop below 20 degrees, according to ODOT. Crews uses additives including calcium chloride and a product containing beet molasses to help improve the effectiveness.

“Our team is ready for whatever Mother Nature hands us, but we want to make sure Ohioans are ready too. During the storm, roads will likely be snow covered – passable, not perfect. Travel will take longer, and drivers will need to go slow,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

Though the heaviest snowfall isn’t expected until later tonight, road conditions could begin to deteriorate this evening. The Friday morning commute will also likely be affected.

Motorists should drive cautiously and give ODOT crews plenty of space. So far this year, ODOT snow plows have been hit eight times while on duty, including four incidents on Tuesday.

“There is no reason for anyone to hit one of our plow trucks,” said Marchbanks. “These trucks are highly visible. Drivers need to slow down, pay attention and give our crews room to work.”

ODOT has a fleet of approximately 1,500 plow trucks with 3,000 drivers and 250 mechanics.

As of Thursday, ODOT has used 158,135 tons of salt and 5,121,270 gallons of liquid de-icer this winter. In southwest Ohio, crews have used 14,982 tons of salt and 885,509 gallons of de-icer. Southwest Ohio crews have driven 280,621 miles and worked 43,688 hours.

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