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ODOT operations up over last year

We’re halfway through the month of January, and halfway through meteorological winter, which ends at March 1st. So far, we’ve seen almost 6 inches of snowfall, still about 8 inches below normal.
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 4:41 PM EST
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MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - If you thought last winter was a dry one, we’ve repeated that trend this year as well. But, ODOT reports that it’s used more supplies so far this season.

We’re halfway through the month of January, and halfway through meteorological winter, which ends at March 1st. So far, we’ve seen almost 6 inches of snowfall, still about 8 inches below normal. At this point last year, we had seen the exact same amount. But ODOT says that it’s the frequency of smaller snows that’s keeping them just a little bit busier.

Last winter ended with a snow deficit of more than ten inches. Already this year, we’re down more than eight. But despite the “dry” winter, ODOT has been busier than last year.

Rebecca Dangelo is the Public Information Officer with ODOT District 2. She tells 13abc, “Compared to last season at this time, we are up a little bit in our lane miles driven, salt usage, as well as the liquid de-icer.”

De-icer usage is up 8% this year, with lane miles driven up almost 4%. But salt usage is up almost 30%. Dangelo explains, “When you look at last year compared to this year, I think what we’ve seen more is little amounts of precipitation.”

But even those smaller amounts of snow and ice can make for tough driving on bridges. She says, “We are still pre-treating, even though we haven’t had any major storms. Sometimes, even if we expect something to come and then it shifts, we are still pre-treating ahead of that.”

And that’s happened a number of times this winter, with some parts of the area seeing more snow than others.

Dangelo says, “We seem to have had more in the northwestern couple of counties, Williams, Fulton, even Henry and Defiance, those areas. Kind of opposite of that, the southeastern counties seem to get a little bit lighter snow than what we’ve seen. So it just depends on where each storm hits.”

With another month and a half to go, Dangelo says that road crews are still only using supplies as needed. “As we get later into the winter, if we don’t have any major storms, we don’t have to use the product, so we’re not out there throwing it just to throw it. Any of the leftover salt stays and will be used next winter.”

Dangelo says that the drivers with o-dot always look forward to working in winter conditions, but reminds drivers that they still need plenty of room to work when they are out treating our roadways.

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