MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Engineer’s Office hosted the annual road meeting for county and township officials Thursday night, which is a chance for county and township officials to meet and talk about past, current and upcoming plans and projects.
The evening included updates from County Engineer Paul Huelskamp and Josh Smith from the Ohio Department of Transportation. Attendees also heard from Rep. Warren Davidson.
According to Smith, ODOT used 7,000 tons of salt in the county, as well as 104,000 gallons of liquid de-icing solution.
“I’m pretty happy to say, at our level, we made it through the winter with 19 dump trucks and a little over 20 employees. We had a safe and successful winter. We had no accidents resulting in any injuries to employees or equipment,” he said. “For us, safety’s our goal, it’s number one and to make it through winter dealing with what we deal with, that’s a huge feat and we’re proud of it.”
He also highlighted ODOT’s travel resource website, www.ohgo.com, which provides real time road condition updates. There is also an app available for Apple and Android phones.
“You can get traffic updates, tell you what’s closed, slow and fast. And you can get weather conditions right off the bat,” he said. “For those of you that are in that business of fighting snow like we are, it’s a great tool.”
In the months ahead, ODOT has planned several maintenance projects for the county, including using a self-propelled mill to do “slot paving,” Smith said. ODOT has also planned multiple culvert replacements throughout the county, as well as regular maintenance like crack sealing.
“And of course, repairing that ever-growing list of potholes,” he added.
Smith also said that the department is always hiring seasonal help and now has apprenticeships and opportunities for interns.
Huelskamp provided an update on the county’s activities. Of the 343 bridges in the county, 13 are posted for weight restriction and three are scheduled to be replaced this year. Those bridges include Greenville Falls-Clayton Road bridge in Newberry Township, Sodom Ballou South bridge in Lostcreek Township, and a bridge on Mill Road in Elizabeth Township.
The county anticipates replacing 50 to 60 culverts in 2018.
In 2017, the county spent $250,427 on snow removal, which included the cost of labor, material and equipment.
Davidson also spoke at the event, touching on spending and infrastructure.
“At the end of the day, everybody has to prioritize. We can’t all fund the things we want to do. We can’t do that at ODOT, we can’t do that at the county engineer’s office,” he said. “At the federal government, we really have a hard time saying no or picking priorities. But we are at a point where we know we can’t keep doing what we’re doing.”
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