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ODOT crews working around the clock during winter storm

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Posted at 11:03 PM, Jan 23, 2022

Ohio Department of Transportation crews have been working around the clock to make sure state roads and highways are safe for drivers during Sunday’s winter storm. District 12 public information officer Brent Kovacs said plow drivers are working 12 hour shifts to manage the snowfall.

However, he is urging other drivers to be extremely cautious while out and about.

“Motorists need to know conditions can change from mile to mile. And no matter what the posted speed limit is, you have to drive to the conditions,” said Kovacs. “Sadly, our trucks have been struck 16 times this year so far. So please slow down. Give yourself extra time and don't crowd the plows.”

He also said just as many plow trucks will be on the roads overnight as there have been during the day.

“The reason for that is we actually need the help of the motoring public to grind that salt into the pavement, and that's what really activates it to get that melting power going,” said Kovacs.

He said in extremely cold temperatures, crews use a product called Beet Heet on roads to increase the efficiency of the salt crews are putting down.

“It's beet molasses with the sugar removed and also has some snow fighting properties added to it. And that product alone works til negative 40 on the roads. Now, we don't need that amount of power on the roads tonight, so we mix it with some of our salt brine and get the right amount of snow fighting power that we need to make sure that salt stays effective on the road,” said Kovacs.

Kovacs also wants to remind drivers that ODOT isn’t responsible for plowing all roads in Ohio. It's only responsible for state and U.S. routes not within a city, and all interstates.

Drivers can check OHGO for up-to-the-minute traffic conditions.

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