WINTERTIME IN Ohio can present many problems and hardships. One of the foremost is dealing with hazardous road conditions.
We in the Buckeye State are more fortunate than any other states in the nation when it comes to winter travel. That is because the Ohio Department of Transportation recently received the American Public Works Association (APWA) Excellence in Snow and Ice Control Award for 2013.
Winter road crews often draw criticism for not doing enough or quick enough. But ODOT is now the standard-bearer for handling treacherous road conditions. We commend and thank ODOT officials and workers for such quality and dedicated service.
Making the award even more special for ODOT is the fact that it is the only state department of transportation in the country to receive this distinguished honor. That speaks volumes on the professionalism we are treated to in Ohio.
The APWA selected ODOT for the award based on the agency's high standard of service for snow and ice removal on 43,000 miles of highways, using 1,600 snow plows, 3,000 employees, and more than 650,000 tons of salt stored at 200 locations around the state. ODOT used 738,948 tons of salt statewide at a cost of almost $81 million this winter.
That is a major spike from last year's mild winter when ODOT used 368,669 tons of salt and spent $43,817,204 to date.
Those numbers are staggering. They also reinforce the expert operation carried out by ODOT, especially over Eastern Ohio's rough and hilly terrain.
Tending to snow- and/or ice-covered roads is a thankless task. But thanks to the masterful performance by ODOT, motorists using Ohio roadways experience much safer travel.