** Watch prior coverage of the Ohio Department of Transportation preparing its snow plows for their winter work.
The Ohio Turnpike Commission on Friday announced the eight winners in its second annual Name-a-Snowplow contest. Here they are:
Ctrl-Salt-Delete by Nicole G.
Blizzard Wizard by Jacqueline F.
Plow Chicka Plow Wow by Joshua K.
You’re Killin’ Me Squalls by Linda V.
The Big LePlowski by Matthew S.
The Blizzard of Oz by Annette B.
Ohio Thaw Enforcement by Jonathan H.
Clearopathtra by Samantha S.
One plow at each of the turnpike’s eight maintenance buildings will get one of the names. That includes the Amherst, Boston and Hiram facilities as well as others in Erie, Fulton, Mahoning, Ottawa and Williams counties.
“Motorists should take every precaution to avoid passing the snowplow trucks and allow extra space for the crews to clear the road. Don’t crowd the plow,” Ferzan Ahmed, executive director of the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission, is quoted in the release. “The safest place to be on the road is behind a snowplow truck.”
Each winner will receive a $100 cash gift card, according to a news release. The commission got more than 5,500 entries between Oct. 24 and Nov. 20. The top 50 were put up for a public vote which ended Dec. 2 with more than 1,100 votes cast.
The contest came as the commission conducted its annual inspection of all plows and equipment.
“Snowplow crews are available at any given moment to maintain the Ohio Turnpike’s 1,395 lane miles, 31 toll plaza interchanges and 14 service plazas across 13 counties in northern Ohio,” Ahmed is quoted in the release. “The entire Ohio Turnpike can be plowed once per hour with our current staffing and equipment levels at eight maintenance buildings.”
Crews last year handled 55 winter storms — one more than the season prior — and worked more than 32,000 hours to keep the lanes clear. They used more than 309,000 gallons of de-icing liquid (more than average) and 56,000 tons of salt (less than average).