Highway workers in Stark County held their annual inspection Friday morning.
CANTON ODOT is getting ready for winter.
With temperatures plummeting into the 40s, the Ohio Department of Transportation's highway workers in Stark County held their annual 150-point inspection Friday morning at U.S. Route 62 garage. The agency has approximately 25 snow removal trucks assigned to Stark County out of District 4's 130 and ODOT's statewide total of 1,629.
They want to ensure they're ready for snow removal operations on Interstate 77 and state routes, totaling about 749 lane miles of roads in the county.
Here are some facts about their preparations, according to ODOT District 4 spokesman Justin Chesnic and ODOT Highway Technician Jim Miller:
Where does ODOT remove snow?
I-77 is the highest priority followed by U.S 30 and U.S. 62 and parts of state routes outside cities and villages like Route 43, Route 619, Route 44 and Route 93. The Stark County Engineer's office handles snow removal for county roads while each city, village and township removes snow for its roads.
How many miles did ODOT drivers drive and how much time did the spend on the road last winter?
220,532 miles and 22,644 hours.
What takes place during the inspections?
ODOT workers inspect the salt spinners, check the vehicles from underneath, pop the hoods and check the tires, lights, belts, hoses, hydraulics for leaks and snow plows.
How many tons of rock salt does ODOT use on Stark County roads?
Last winter, it was 19,601 tons. But it's expecting a more normal level of 16,000 tons this winter. In contrast, Ashtabula County, which gets lake effect snow uses 50,000 tons a winter. ODOT said last winter in Stark County it used 291,885 gallons of liquid de-icer to pre-treat roads.
What do ODOT workers call Stark County?
"The Florida of District 4" because it gets the least snow of the six counties in District 4. Last winter, Stark County got about 30 inches of snow; Ashtabula County which got 100.
How many tons of salt can a snow removal truck hold?
About eight to 10 tons.
What's the status of rock salt delivery?
ODOT has received roughly 75 percent of its order for Stark. All ODOT salt domes in Ohio, many which hold 2,000 to 3,000 tons of salt are expected to be full by the end of this month.
How much is the salt for this winter?
$59.48 a ton. Much higher than the past few winters' $35 a ton, but robust demand has increased the price, which often fluctuates. The price was nearly $100 a ton a few years ago.
How many locations do ODOT snow removal trucks operate out of?
Four with the main garage being on U.S. Route 62 across from the Stark County Jail.
How fast do the ODOT trucks remove snow from roads under the state's responsibility in Stark County?
ODOT workers are able to remove snow within two hours after a snow event 98 percent of the time. Sometimes conditions such as heavy winds prevent that benchmark from being reached.
How often are the ODOT snow removal trucks replaced?
About every eight years when buying a new truck is more cost effective than paying for repairs to an aging truck.
How much do snow removal trucks cost?
How many ODOT employees work on snow removal in Stark County?
27 drivers, about 15 to 20 seasonal drivers, three mechanics and some office staff.
How else do ODOT employees prepare for snow?
ODOT managers are on call. They're frequently monitoring the weather forecasts and radar and can call in drivers before snow hits.
What are the challenges of removing snow?
Motorists who often try to pass the slower moving snow removal trucks. And they present a possible traffic hazard, especially if they drive into snow that hasn't yet been removed and slide, increasing the chance of an accident. ODOT says statewide, motorists last winter collided with its snow removal trucks 64 times.
What helps assist snow removal?
Once the trucks disperse the salt and remove a lot of the snow, traffic helps generate friction and, acting with sunlight, further melt the snow. A busy road after the salt has been spread is more conducive to melting snow. ODOT workers consider pavement temperature, which is usually higher than air temperature, as a more reliable indicator of how readily snow will melt. Miller said the trucks have become better designed to efficiently distribute salt and plow snow. The chemical salt brine mix has become more effective in melting snow.
Reach Repository writer Robert Wang at (330) 580-8327 or email@example.com. Twitter: @rwangREP.