By Cody Willoughby
TIPP CITY — The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), is gearing up for the winter season, and that means readying their employees for the snowplows.
ODOT crews participated in Snow and Ice Operations Training on Tuesday morning at The Avenue at Ginghamsburg in Tipp City.
Numerous topics were covered, as the crews were oriented on practices such as equipment safety, plowing operations, salt usage, and fiber-optic communication while on the road.
“Today’s meeting brings together the whole district, which includes about nine counties,” said transportation engineer John Grassow. “Every year, we get everybody in the same room to get their focus on being second-to-none in snow and ice removal. Every county has a dry run on their plows, along with a 150-point inspection on each vehicle. It’s a pretty thorough process to make sure things are ready to go before snow and ice ever hits.”
Crews were also briefed on the Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) program roundtable, which featured information on road management during inclement weather, work zone disruptance, traffic accidents, and special events.
Partners from the Ohio State Highway Patrol were also present, and offered methods to coordinate with their team during times of poor road conditions.
“Gathering the whole district together in one place is beneficial, because we can hear different practices that people are using to implement into our own plans,” stated transportation manager Ryan Sullivan. “Every county has its own way of doing things. For example, some counties practice blowing snow, while others don’t have the need. Some counties use calcium on the roads, and some use Beet Heet. Each has their pros and cons. Beet is more effective at lower temperatures. Calcium tends to refreeze. Meeting this way allows everyone to put their heads together and offer up their own ideas, which ultimately makes for a better force.”
With its headquarters in Sidney, ODOT serves Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery and Shelby counties.
For more information, visit www.dot.state.oh.us. For weather alerts, visit www.buckeyetraffic.org.