New Philadelphia -- To provide safe and easy movement of people and goods from place to place, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is committed to being the standard of excellence for winter maintenance. ODOT District 11 Deputy Director Lloyd MacAdam said, "Because of that commitment and dedication to taking care of what we have, three eastern Ohio counties -- Belmont, Holmes and Tuscarawas -- applied for and have won a national Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting Award from the Salt Institute."
The award is for excellence in environmental consciousness and effective management in the storage of winter road salt.
MacAdam said, "We couldn't be happier. We are honored for these counties and their services to have been recognized by a national organization that highlights the importance of winter road safety."
Clear winter roads protect lives and commerce. According to the federal government, more than 116,000 Americans are injured and over 1,300 killed as a result winter road conditions each year, and a one-day major snowstorm can cost a state $300-$700 million in direct and indirect costs, lost commerce, and productivity.
A study of highways in Snow Belt states showed that road salt reduces crashes by 88 percent, and deicing pays for itself within the first 25 minutes after the salt is spread -- making proper salt storage and timely deicing a smart investment.
"Each winter snowfighters take incredible risks on icy roads, working long shifts to clear our roads of snow and ice and make them safe. They prioritize both public safety and the environment by effective practices that utilize just the right amount of salt at the right place and at the right time. The Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting Award represents the highest acclaim for public safety and the environment. Recipients must meet or exceed nearly 70 different criteria covering storage, equipment, safety, environmental protection and service," said Salt Institute President Lori Roman.
About 26 million tons of deicing salt was applied to roadways in the U.S. last year, and another six million tons were spread in Canada. Having enough road salt on hand before storms hit requires advance planning and facilities that provide safe and efficient storage. Winners must also display proper maintenance and good housekeeping practices.
Only a handful of local agencies in the U.S. and Canada received this recognition. A complete list by state is available from the Salt Institute (http://www.saltinstitute.org/press_releases/salt-institute-honors-snowfighters-for-protecting-motorists-and-the-environment-5/).