For many, Friday morning commute times in Columbus were two, three, even four times longer than normal after 4-6 inches of snow fell in the early hours.
ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning says the recent bitter cold temperatures left the pavement too cold to pre-treat. “You can’t pretreat, your salts not as effective and you’ve got a bunch of traffic out on the highways where you can’t move,” Bruning said. “That’s going to be a challenge. It’s not an excuse. That’s what actually happened this morning.”
The sloppy road conditions contributed to numerous accidents which then slowed traffic even more.
City of Columbus spokesman Michael Liggett says the top priority throughout the day was the “Priority One” roads. “A lot of the focus is trying to keep our major arterial especially our freeway arterial as passable as possible,” Liggett said. “And it’s important to remember that passable doesn’t mean clear or bare pavement or good looking. Passable is you’re able to drive and commute on the roadway but you do need to drive at a lower speed and be aware of your surroundings.”
Liggett says city crews hope to start working on the “Priority Two” streets that feed the neighborhoods Friday night.