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Winter facts from ODOT

October 15, 2009 - Paul Giannamore

Somehow, it was my year to take the annual photograph of the Ohio Department of Transportation getting its Jefferson County fleet ready for winter this year. It was cold and raining outside and the weatherfolk were having a potential snow-stroke over the possibility of a little dusting in the Laurel Highlands east of Pittsburgh.

ODOT gave us an interesting fact sheet filled with numbers to ponder:

  • 457 - The number of lane miles it plows and maintains in Jefferson County.
  • 141 - The number of bridges on state routes in Jefferson County. (And remember, watch for ICE on bridge, as the signs say. Bridges freeze first.)
  • 16 - The number of trucks taking care of those 457 lane miles and 141 bridges on state routes in Jefferson County.
  • 7,317 - The average number of tons of salt used by ODOT in a typical Jefferson County winter.
  • $1,029,426 - The amount spent on keeping us able to travel on those 457 miles and 141 bridges last winter in Jefferson County.
  •  94,225 - The number of miles put on the trucks in Jefferson County last winter.
  • 700,000 - The amount of tonnage of salt used statewide on average during the past five years.
  • 1,700 and 3,000 - The number of trucks and drivers statewide ready for winter duty at ODOT statewide.

And, this being Backfire, my blog of all things road and car related, it's time for a friendly reminder: ODOT PLOW TRUCK DRIVERS ARE HUMAN BEINGS WITH FAMILIES, just like you and me. Be courteous. Give those big plows a little room to work, given that they're wider than the average lane on those 457 lane-miles of Jefferson County state roads. Be careful around them and if you must pass, remember plows kick up snow that can make visibility tough.

I think those rules also apply to our plow truck drivers in Steubenville, Wintersville, Mingo Junction, Toronto and everywhere else. It's snow. It will fall on us all, rich, poor, West End or Downtown. We really all will be stuck in it together.


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