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The Suburbanite
  • ODOT gets new tool to pick up highway debris

  • The Gator Getter, which costs about $22,000, attaches to the front of any ODOT tandem truck. The driver lowers the attachment while driving on the highway to pick up litter and it is then collected in a basket that can be unloaded at a later time. This new method of litter removal is being used in Stark County and is the first one used by ODOT.

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  • The Ohio Department of Transportation District 4 is using a new tool in the fight against roadway litter. In an effort to make litter and car debris pickup safer, the district will now use the “Gator Getter,” a truck attachment that looks like a cross between a snow plow and a round tube.
    The Gator Getter, which costs about $22,000, attaches to the front of any ODOT tandem truck. The driver lowers the attachment while driving on the highway to pick up litter and it is then collected in a basket that can be unloaded at a later time. This new method of litter removal is being used in Stark County and is the first one used by ODOT.
    “Safety is the key component that the Gator brings to the table,” said Brent Kovacs, public information specialist with ODOT District 4. “Before, highway workers needed to pull their vehicle over to the side of the road, wait for a break in traffic, then run out into the road and pick up the litter and run back to the side of the road.”
    It also means no more lane closures for litter removal and prevents drivers from evasive action if a worker is in the road picking up litter.
    ODOT hopes to use this technology throughout the state in the near future.
    Hospital adds offices following opening Akron General Health and Wellness Center continues to expand following the opening of its location in Green last year. Since opening, the hospital has seen 16,000 patient visits for radiology services, resulting in more than 23,000 procedures performed. Construction is currently under way on the north side of the building for a new office.
    Jim Gosky, director of media and public relations at Akron General Health Systems, said the medical office pavilion will open in June or July.   
    “We will ramp up throughout the course of 2013 and expect to have 75 percent occupancy by the end of 2013,” Gosky said.
    Services offered in the new building will include primary care, urology, endocrinology, orthopedics, neurology, cardiology, rheumatology, podiatry and psychiatry.