COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – As millions of Ohioans are expected to hit the roads this holiday weekend, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will be working to make sure traffic flows as smooth as possible. Much of this work is done by operators at ODOT’s traffic management center.

“These folks are incredibly talented here and hardworking and so their job is to make sure the state keeps moving and that’s the name of the game today,” said Matt Bruning, Press Secretary for ODOT.

The traffic management center is staffed 24/7/365. Some operators work in the center while some are now able to do the job remotely. They have at least seven screens in front of them with access to about 1000 cameras statewide. The operators are looking out for anything that might cause backups.

“It could be a major crash, it could be a fender bender, it could be somebody who just breaks down, it could be something even as simple as a traffic stop that ties up traffic,” said Bruning. “There’s a lot of different things that could go into impeding traffic and that’s what these guys are watching out for.”

The operators will also dispatch crews when necessary and put information on As of 4:30 p.m. the evening before Thanksgiving, ODOT had dealt with more issues on the roads on Tuesday, according to Bruning. He says what they’ve seen so far seems similar to pre-pandemic Thanksgiving travel.

“Without having hard data it’s just kind of like what we’re seeing on the cameras. And certainly, I think it’s definitely busier than it was this year than last year. It seems to be pretty comparable to 2019,” said Bruning.

With traffic expected to be busier for the holiday weekend, Bruning is also reminding people to be patient on the roads.