Ohio Turnpike crews prepare for winter: What you should know

Local News

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN)- Ohio Turnpike crews are performing inspections on all of their winter equipment.

These inspections will help prepare them to maintain the almost 1,400 miles of turnpike across the state. These inspections are happening at 8 outposts across the state. They are performed every year around October.

Snow and ice equipment have been worked on throughout the summer to get ready for the inspections.
Each truck goes through a 136 point inspection, which includes checking brakes, drive lines, plows, salt spray systems, and more. The inspections help turnpike crews clear the roads to the best of their ability.

“It really helps to prepare not only the trucks, but also the employees because it kind of puts everybody into snow and ice mode. Everybody starts thinking that way even though the sun may be shining today, but it gets you in that mindset that old man winter is right around the corner,” said Turnpike Maintenance Superintendent Rich Underwood.

Turnpike customers can expect around 100 snowplows to be ready to maintain the entire turnpike.
Last winter, they used more than 346,000 gallons of liquid chemicals to remove snow and ice from the turnpike. Compare that to the average of 293,000 gallons of liquid chemicals used per year, it was a big difference.

The Ohio Turnpike was hit with approximately 54 winter storm events in 2020 and 2021.
Today’s inspections are beneficial to helping turnpike crews prepare for any winter storm this coming season. Turnpike maintenance superintendent Rex Underwood offers some helpful tips for safe driving in the winter.

“Not crowd our plows, give us that safe distance, prepare for that winter weather event that you’re about to travel in, allow that time, don’t be distracted with phones and other items while you’re traveling up and down any highway,” Underwood said.

Underwood also advises motorists to drive slow in winter weather. Be cautious on ramps, bridges, and overpasses that may get icy before the actual road. Also, give snowplows enough space to do their job.

This year, the Ohio Turnpike is having fun with their final preparations for winter. They’re announced their first-ever “Name-A-Snowplow Contest.” If you win, you will receive a $100 gift card. Visit their website to see contest rules how to enter.

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