The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jul. 2, 2022

ODOT: 2014-15 winter costs $8 million

Van Wert independent/submitted information

LIMA – Although the Ohio Department of Transportation’s District 1 drove fewer miles and used less salt and deicing liquids than last winter, salt prices almost double those a year ago resulted in costs nearly equal to the record-setting 2013-14 levels, according to ODOT figures released Monday.

An Ohio Department of Transportation snowplow in action. (ODOT photo)
An Ohio Department of Transportation snowplow in action. (ODOT photo)

As winter weather wraps up and spring has arrived — at least on the calendar — District 1, which includes Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Wyandot counties, is putting away the plows and transitioning into construction work around the district.

As of now, ODOT District 1 crews have driven 1,062,987 miles during snow and ice operations, used 50,424 tons of salt, and 548,191gallons of deicing liquids throughout the eight-county district. The total cost of labor, equipment and material to date for the 2014-15 winter season sits at $8,226,787.

At this same point last year, the district had driven 1,348,847 miles, used 62,328 tons of salt and 601,943 gallons of deicing liquids and spent $8,644,162 for snow and ice control.

Excluding last year and this year, the average cost per year over the last 10 years for snow and ice control operations in the district is $4.1 million.

“Our numbers up to this point are very comparable to last year’s regarding our snow and ice efforts,” said ODOT District 1 Deputy Director Kirk Slusher. “We were hoping for a less severe winter, but as of now both years are ending up quite similar.

“The materials used and miles driven were lower this year, but the higher cost of salt kept our overall costs up,” he added.

The average cost of salt this winter was $105 per ton, versus $56 per ton last season.

Van Wert County had the third-lowest snow/ice removal costs in the district, with total spending of $904,935. The county’s relatively low winter costs came from the county ODOT garage’s reliance more on deicing liquids than on salt. Van Wert County had the second-lowest salt usage, while having the fourth-highest expenditure of deicing liquids. Hancock County, with the most miles on the road as well, had the highest cost at $1.42 million.

The maintenance crew at the Allen County ODOT garage began the snow and ice season in a new facility that was constructed last year as part of a campus development project. The garage was one of several work units in the district that relocated from Chapman Road to McCullough Street in Lima, where the district office and district garage were already located.

The new facility provided the following benefits:

  • The county was able to up salt storage from 2,000 to 4,000 tons.
  • The county increased fuel capacity to a 12,000-ton split tank, with 6,000 tons diesel fuel and 6,000 tons of unleaded fuel.
  • The transition added additional lean-to storage for the county for materials and equipment.

A winter liquid station that is yet to be installed will allow for automatic brine making that will result in higher production and efficiency.

POSTED: 03/31/15 at 1:31 am. FILED UNDER: News