ODOT getting ready to hit the roads with salt, plows and new technology

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) – With the potential for bad, snowy weather on the way, the Ohio Department of Transportation is getting ready to hit the roads with plows, salt and some new technology.

ODOT is starting to use new tracking devices and cameras attached to their trucks to become more efficient.

“You’ve got cameras and telemetry that tell us speed of the vehicle, how much material (e.g. salt) they’re dropping at any given time,” said ODOT press secretary Matt Bruning. “It also gives us a map of where they were, so we can tell what section of highway had been plowed or treated at what time.”

Bruning said so far there are four snow plows in Licking County that are using this new technology.

“This is all stemming from a research project we did with the University of Akron where they really looked at ways we could optimize our routes to be more efficient, be more efficient with the salt and the material that we use and try to get better and ultimately, that’s what we want to do year after year is to get better at our job,” he said.

He said these new tools will allow ODOT to make decisions on the road within seconds instead of minutes.

“For example, if we were seeing heavier snow in eastern portion of a county, maybe we would move some of the plows from the western portion of the county over to the eastern part of the county to help with where we’re seeing the most snow,” said Bruning.

Currently, there are 234 trucks that are using this new technology across the state. ODOT’s hope is to have all 1,500 snow plows equipped by winter 2019 and Columbus equipped by winter 2018.

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