ODOT’s annual winter readiness plan: See how the department prepares to battle snow, ice in Northeast Ohio

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Ready or not, we’re coming up on that time of year again in Northeast Ohio; when sparkly snowflakes, usually blowing in from Lake Erie, surround us in what looks like a snow globe and shake up our little world.

Starting at 45°, we can see our breath. It’s also around the temperature when you’ll lose traction on the road if you don’t have winter tires.

And so, the Ohio Department of Transportation is on top of things and they’ve already started preparations to handle this year’s snow and ice on the roads.

ODOT’s Public Information Officer, Brent Kovacs, met with FOX 8 to explain what they plan to do as our snowy season quickly approaches.

Kovacs says today their trucks are getting ready to go through a 150-point inspection so they are prepared for the roads before the flakes begin to fly.

“We never really know when that first storm is going to hit, so we want to make sure the plows are operational, the salt spreaders are working properly” he said. “Those plows and salt spreaders aren’t used in the summer months so we just want to make sure they’re ready to go.”

He says the inspections are done in-house by the drivers themselves, who take pride in making sure their trucks are ready to make streets safe for drivers.

The state has 660,000 tons of salt to use this winter. They paid about $43 per ton, which is about $9 cheaper per pound this year, he explained.

He says their goal is to get drivers back on the road within 2 hours after a major winter event but because of a driver shortage, they can’t guarantee it this year.

If you have a commercial driver’s license and you’re interested in applying, click here.

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