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Local Ohio Turnpike crews prepare for upcoming snow and ice season

Ohio Turnpike snow and ice fleet is ready for the 2019-2020 season

The Ohio Turnpike made its final preparations for the upcoming winter season with winter equipment inspections at its eight maintenance garages along the 241-mile mainline.

A 136-point inspection of all snowplows and equipment took place on Thursday before the first signs of winter weather.

Ohio Turnpike officials said a sufficient number of snowplows will be available at any given moment to maintain the 1,395 lane miles, 31 interchanges and 14 service plazas on the Ohio Turnpike. 

There are 15 salt storage facilities and the Turnpike begins stockpiling salt in the late summer. Crews use an average of 66,000 tons of salt each year and 170,000 gallons of liquid chemicals per year.

The top priority, especially during extremely heavy snowfall is clearing the right and center lanes on the Turnpike mainline. Then the crews shift focus on third lanes, interchanges, service plazas and shoulders.

"When winter storm events hit, the women and men of our maintenance operations will work hours necessary, including weekends and holidays, to ensure that our customers are provided with safe and reliable travel," said Chris Matta, Deputy Chief Engineer for the Ohio Turnpike.

Turnpike officials said it's also important for drivers to do their part in making safe travel for everyone. 

Simple steps they can take include making sure your vehicle is road-ready, plan for extra travel time and always allow distance between vehicles.