COLUMBUS, Ohio — As we get closer to winter hitting Central Ohio, now is the time to prepare and that goes for road crews as well. City and ODOT workers are checking all their trucks and equipment, stocking up on salt, and making sure crews know their routes. They told us last winter was pretty rough on the roads, but they have a plan for this year.
“The season never ends for us,” said Columbus Public Service Division of Infrastructure Management Administrator Frank Williams. “We’re checking lessons learned and training for new staff, testing equipment, getting equipment ready all through the season to get ready for the next season.”
Fixing potholes is a year-long problem for the city of Columbus, but they're working fast to get many repairs done *before old man winter comes knocking.
"It has been a tough year for service for potholes, but we've been able to keep up with them. We have a 99-percent closure rate within 3 days for the season,” said Williams.
The city has patched up more than 8,000 potholes since the beginning of the year and drivers appreciate it.
"They're trying, they're trying to get the roads together for us,” said a driver Michael Sloane.
City workers said potholes are up 200-percent from years past, but they're constantly making repairs.
"I think they do need to close the roads because they are pretty bad, depending on what side of town you're on,” said another driver Alonzo Edmundo.
That's why the city and ODOT workers are getting "winter ready" now.
"In district 6, we have 163 dump trucks that we designate for snow and ice removal operations and we have 60,000 tons of salt that is on the ground right now in our barns,” said ODOT Highway Management Administrator for District 6 Shawn Rostorfer.
Last winter, ODOT used more than 90,000 tons of salt in Central Ohio. That’s why workers are checking their equipment and keeping their eye on the sky to see what this winter will bring.
“There's always the unpredictability of Mother Nature that we can't control but we feel that our equipment, our man power, and our materials are fully up to par and ready to go this winter season,” said Rostorfer.
City and ODOT workers just ask drivers to give their crews space as they work on the roads, slow down, or move over when you see their flashing lights.