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ODOT prepares for winter weather ahead of first snowfall

Akron snow plow
City of Akron
The Ohio Department of Transportation is preparing its fleet of snow plows for the upcoming winter season.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is preparing for the winter season.

ODOT crews are inspecting all plows and equipment used for snow and ice in preparation for the first snowfall. Ray Marsch, ODOT spokesman for District 4 that includes Summit County says construction season typically goes into November, but projects such as the Akron beltway and Interstate 76 in Tallmadge will continue through the colder months.

“We try our best to get as many projects as we can wrapped up before the winter, but typically when you have these multiyear projects, that’s unavoidable,” Marsch said.

He says ODOT tries to complete smaller projects in November. Even with milder weather this year, there are other challenges.

Marsch: construction slows down
ODOT logo

“With the days getting shorter that means temperatures dropping earlier, and you have to maintain higher temperatures to lay down asphalt and striping," he said. "So that’s the biggest thing that hinders our projects is not high pavement and not a lot of hours to work because the days get shorter.”

Statewide, ODOT has more than 770,000 tons of salt and almost 1,700 plow truck drivers, but Marsch says it's still looking to hire more seasonal drivers.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media. A Northeast Ohio native and lifelong listener of public radio, Abigail started in public radio as a news intern at WKSU. She graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Kent State University.