I-Team asks: How long should it take to get your roads cleared?

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The FOX 8 I-Team is asking the question many of you are asking as the snow flies. How long should you expect to wait to see your roads plowed?

We found out the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) actually has a target. ODOT crews hope to have highways plowed and traffic moving at normal speeds again within two hours of the snow stopping. And ODOT claims it meets that goal a whopping 97% of the time.

Matt Bruning at ODOT headquarters said when evaluating if crews met the goal, the clock starts at the time when the National Weather Service declares the end of a snow storm or snow event. Then, ODOT looks at its traffic cameras to see when drivers got back up to normal speeds. Bruning said, “And when those speeds are back up to normal speeds, that’s the time frame that we look at. And if it’s under two hours, then we measure it as we met our goal for that storm.”

Certainly, many drivers wonder where the plows are as the snow is still coming down. However, sometimes, it doesn’t matter much. ODOT cameras during a recent storm showed, in minutes, heavy snow covered what a plow had just cleared.

ODOT says, on average, it takes a state plow about two hours to finish a given route. That could be a section of a two-lane highway. Or, part of a three-lane highway. Either way, once a plow comes through, you may not see it again in the same area for a while.

Thursday morning, the I-Team found I-71 snow covered and icy near the MetroHealth curve hours after the heavy snow had stopped. Even then, we saw accidents and found frustrated drivers. ODOT says it can be tough getting plows into busy commuter routes when cars are bumper to bumper. And, it’s harder to clear the roads when snow falls during rush hour as it did Thursday morning.

Drivers we met said they expect plows to take about 2 hours or so to clear the roads after a storm. But, of course, any delay for any reason, leads to frustration.

ODOT said it had crews working on I-71 all day Thursday.

As for the city of Cleveland, no hard and fast time target for plows. The city plows main roads first and side streets second, and the timetables can depend on the amounts of snow that fall.

More winter weather coverage, here.