ODOT and the city of Toledo say they're prepared for the first major winter storm of the season

Published: Jan. 17, 2020 at 8:57 PM EST
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This weekend we're expecting lots of snow and freezing temperatures which can cause a big, dangerous mess for drivers. 13abc checked in with the city of Toledo and ODOT to find out what they're doing to keep roadways safe.

Both the city and ODOT say they're ready for the first big snow event of the winter season. Extra staff, salt and brine are all on hand all weekend long.

There are more than 40 plow trucks out on the roads, about 186 city employees working twelve hour shifts, and 20,000 gallons of brine already down on major streets.

"We've brined just about every single bridge so far and now we're just kind of running through the paces letting drivers get familiar with their routes. Things have changed since the summer months with all the construction that we've had," said Jeremy Mikolajczyk. He's the commissioner of the Department of Public Service Division of Streets, Bridges and Harbor for the city of Toledo.

Toledo is prepared for the first major winter storm of the season according to Mikolajczyk.

"The weather has been really good to us. We've been able to catch up on potholes and then once this snowstorm was in our purview to see coming, we took the opportunity way early to start setting things up and getting ready for it," he said.

This weekend slippery conditions are expected along with several inches of snow. Mikolajczyk says bridges and concrete streets tend to freeze faster.

"It's pretty stressful because you know that it's going to be a big storm that looks like it's going to be a heavy, wet snow and a heavy wet snow is pretty difficult to move," he said.

ODOT is also ready for what's to come and fight the forecast by pre-treating the roadways.

"A lot of our crews are pretty bummed that we haven't had any snow. They love being out there, plowing the roads and being out there. So, they're very excited for this weekend. But as far as the logistics, our salt is ready and all the brine tankers are full. We are prepared," said ODOT spokesperson Rebecca Dangelo.

If you plan to brave the storm, keep this in mind:

"If you see our trucks out there, just give them room to work. They're huge trucks and they do drive under the speed limit, but they are making sure that the roads are clear for travelers. So just give them some room to work," said Dangelo.

Brine is supposed to help make it easier to peel snow off streets after it falls. A lot of what's being done now is pre-treatment.

The shift change for city workers is at midnight, so more plow trucks will be rolling out then.