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Local Medina County News

Winter is coming; ODOT prepares to face it

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The Ohio Department of Transportation’s Medina garage has 25 plow trucks ready to fight the snow and ice that is coming. BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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MONTVILLE TWP. — The Ohio Department of Transportation’s garage at 3220 Medina Road is stocked with 9,657 tons of salt ready for whatever Old Man Winter throws our way.

ODOT is making final preparations to ensure equipment and employees are ready for the winter season. On Wednesday, state employees offered an update on preparation efforts underway in the county.

“When people think of ODOT, one of the first things they think of is our ability to clear snow and ice from the road,” ODOT Director Jerry Wray said in a statement.

“It’s a job we take very seriously because we know it is vital to make sure people and goods can safely reach their destination.”

ODOT’s eight-county District 3 has 147 snow removal trucks, 25 of which are stationed at the Medina Road garage. There are also 39 drivers and three mechanics at the facility.

Each vehicle recently underwent a 150-point check as a part of the annual county-by-county operational readiness inspections.

Statewide, ODOT’s 273 mechanics did so to identify issues and make necessary repairs before snowfall hits.

Kaitlyn Thompson, public information officer for District 3, said the drivers will work rotating 12-hour shifts.

“Many of the drivers have been on the same routes for years,” she said.

“They know their roadways. They run their routes in a continuous loop until the roads are cleared.”

The priority routes — including state Route 18, Interstate 71 and Interstate 76 — are cleared first.

ODOT claims the primary routes are cleared within two hours of a big storm 99 percent of the time in Medina County, according to a news release.

The winter of 2017-18 was one of the busiest for District 3 crews, which drove 1,419,649 miles, a release said, the equivalent to six trips to the moon and back.

Drivers spent 129,519 hours on the road — that’s nearly 15 years.

They used 120,912 tons of salt and 1,010,737 gallons of deicers were used for pretreating and treating 4,150 miles of roads, highways and bridges.

District 3 is made up of Medina, Erie, Lorain, Huron, Crawford, Ashland, Wayne and Richland counties.

ODOT’s new facility in Seville will be ready in June 2019, said Thompson. She said a salt barn will be built in Seville, as well.

Thompson said ODOT has not made decision on what will happen to the Montville garage.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.


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