COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A mild winter has led to millions of dollars in savings for local governments and the State of Ohio.
The winter of 2022-2023 will end next week as one of the least snowy in central Ohio’s history. Having less ice to clear from roadways frees more resources to use later in the year.
Lamont Shelton, now a transportation manager at the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Delaware facility, drove snowplows for 22 years. He said this winter was the mildest he can remember.
“It actually helps save money because there’s no wear and tear on the dump trucks,” Shelton said.
ODOT has also saved millions of dollars on salt. The salt barn in Delaware County sits nearly full, despite not receiving a refill this winter. Typically, Shelton said, the barn is nearly empty by mid-March.
According to ODOT, salt usage is down 40% compared to last winter. At roughly $62 per ton, and hundreds of thousands of tons saved, that adds up to millions of dollars in savings.
The salt can be saved for next winter, as long as it stays dry, Shelton said.
The City of Columbus has also seen savings. The Department of Public Works said it spent about $214,000 less on salt this winter compared to last, and half of what the city spent on salt the previous winter.
City and state officials said the savings in time and money allow them to get ahead on springtime roadwork, like filling potholes or street sweeping.