NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Nov. 2, 2023) – The local ODOT office spent last week preparing for whatever Mother Nature has in store for in the coming months.
District 11 spokeswoman Lauren Borrell says winter-readiness inspections on the 20 plow trucks for Tuscarawas County wrapped up just in time for the freezing drizzle and snow flurries that came down on Halloween night.
“We never know when Mother Nature is going to strike, and ironically enough when we kicked things off in the month of October in Belmont County it was 84 degrees when we were doing winter inspections, and then, of course, at the end here we faced winter weather.”
She says there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to treating the roads since conditions can vary widely from hour to hour, which is why they emphasize passability over perfection.
“They face ice. They face snow. They face rain. They can experience a lot in a very short period of time. We are out there to make the roads as safe as possible, but there are times when it is snowing so much that they could make a pass and you could go right through within two minutes of them coming through and not ever know that they were there.”
Borell reminds drivers to take it slow whenever the roads get slick and give plow trucks plenty of space.
“They drive well below the posted speed limits, even on the interstates. They are averaging around 35 miles an hour. If you see those lights flashing, and especially in a white-out condition or where visibility isn’t that great if you start to see those green strobes going, start to slow down and know that they’re up ahead.”
The district maintains 583 lane miles of roadway in Tuscarawas County and close to 3,400 overall.