MAUMEE, OH (WTOL) - With the first snow of the season falling just last week, the thick of winter has not yet arrived.
However, the Ohio Department of Transportation has already been working around the clock to get the roads ready for the season.
Northwest Ohio saw its first snow accumulation on Saturday, right after the first snow fall last Thursday. ODOT planned for this and was ahead of the weather.
"Beginning Wednesday, crews started pre-treating the roads with brine. Then Saturday morning at midnight, crews started fighting the winter weather. Then a second crew came in at noon, and they all worked until the storm was cleared," said Rebecca Dangelo, public information officer for ODOT District 2.
ODOT has 6,000 tons of salt in storage at their facility in Maumee that they will be using primarily to treat the roads of Lucas County.
"The last two winters have been mild, so we actually have not used much," Dangelo said. "Some of this salt is still from last year, but it's refilled in the summer months."
More snow is in our future as winter kicks off, with around an inch expected to accumulate on Monday.
On days when ODOT is expecting snow, their employees can expect a 12-hour shift.
In the winter months the primary roads, such as interstates, freeways and major routes are tackled first. Then crews move on to treating less-traveled, secondary roads, such as all other state routes.
"Brine is a saltwater mixture that we are able to pre-treat roads with to prevent snow and ice from forming. It's great because it works immediately and, because it's a liquid, it stays on the pavement. Salt is good because you can apply it basically on any type of road, and when it mixes with snow, it's able to melt the snow and then clear the roads from that," Dangelo said. "It's good to use in combination with plowing because it keeps the road clear."
While snow plows and brine and salt trucks are out on the roadways, ODOT urges driver to use caution.
"We've got the slogan, 'Don't crowd the plow,' so give them room to work. They usually drive slower than most traffic, so keep that in mind if you do see one. Don't pass them unless you have to, and pass on the left if you do pass one," said Dangelo.
ODOT is still accepting applications for snow plow driver as there are a few vacancies left. A commercial driver's license is necessary in order to apply.