ODOT crews continue making roadways safe for essential travelers
CADIZ — While many residents are abiding by stay-at-home orders, Ohio Department of Transportation workers continue to maintain the roadways, keeping them safe for essential travelers.
Lauren Borrell, spokeswoman for ODOT, said crews will continue to provide the necessary road work and maintenance in order to keep passage safe for travelers.
“Any kind of maintenance work that can be done while workers are still practicing social distancing will be completed,” she said.
Although ODOT is maintaining normal operations while under COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, workers are doing so cautiously while following health and safety recommendations, she said.
“People are still using the roadways. … We’re operating as normal, making sure employees are following social distancing procedures,” she said.
Borrell said crews are currently performing a multitude of roadway work throughout District 11 to improve safety, including in Belmont, Harrison, Jefferson and Holmes counties.
In Belmont County, crews are performing guardrail repairs, ditching along the roadway to improve drainage and patching potholes in various locations, she said. In Harrison County, crews are performing ditching work to improve drainage and completing berm work. Along Ohio 9 between New Athens and Cadiz, ODOT workers were completing berm work that includes grading the side of the roadway where the shoulder may be too high or low to improve the drainage off of the roadway, Borrell said. The road was temporarily down to one lane as crews worked along the roadway Tuesday.
“Our crews are continuing to work to help essential workers, first responders and truck drivers travel safely,” she said.
It’s all about teamwork — everyone doing their part to stop the spread, she said. ODOT has activated new messages on around 130 digital message boards across the state urging drivers to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus. One of those boards is stationed along Interstate 70 east near the Ohio Valley Mall. Another is located on I-70 west near Ohio 331.
In addition to maintaining the roadways, ODOT is also maintaining local rest areas in an effort to support truck drivers. All six rest stops in the district will remain open to travelers, Borrell said.
And while ODOT is asking people to limit travel during this time, the rest areas are available to those in need.
“We’re continuing to maintain the rest areas to support anyone transporting. We are doing more frequent cleaning and sanitizing to combat the spread of COVID-19,” she said.
Signage has also been posted reminding visitors to thoroughly wash their hands.