POMEROY — As temperatures begin to drop, it is time for road crews to prepare for the winter weather which will eventually make its way to the area.
Wednesday was one of the first steps to that for the 2017-18 winter as equipment and employees at the Meigs County Ohio Department of Transportation garage completed the annual winter preparedness event.
ODOT District 10 Public Information Officer Ashley Rittenhouse explained that during October and early November, all-day events are held in each of the district’s nine counties to make sure crews and equipment are ready for the upcoming season.
A 150-plus point inspection is conducted on each piece of snow-fighting equipment, including checks of brakes, tires, fluid levels and the plow itself.
Drivers, no matter how long they have been with ODOT, go through a snow and ice refresher course each year. Items included in the course include what material to use on the roadways and how to maintain equipment.
Salt prices are down for the 2017-18 winter season, costing $51.14 per ton. For the 2016-17 season it was $54.43 per ton, with a cost of $71.95 per ton in the 2015-16 season.
Rittenhouse contributed the decrease in price to the relatively mild winter in 2016-17.
Rittenhouse reminded drivers “don’t crowd the plows” and in “ice and snow, take it slow.” She added that the plows are likely to drive slower than other motorists and may cross the center line or travel onto the shoulder to clear ice and snow. Drivers should maintain a safe distance so the plows may work to clear the roads.
Travelers may check current road conditions on the OHGO website or app, as well as the ODOT District 10 Facebook page.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.