SIDNEY – Road crews handled this week’s winter weather event quickly and smoothly with the help of multiple factors, according to Shelby County Engineer Robert Geuy, Sidney City Manager Andrew Bowsher and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Press Secretary Matt Bruning.
“With the advanced warning, we were able to plan our response. All crews were out by 4:00 a.m. this morning. We found that within a couple of hours that most of our roads were cleared off. The temperature stayed up in the middle 30s and a lot of the precipitation was rain instead of snow,” Geuy said Wednesday morning. He added crews monitored the roads the rest of the day.
Bowsher shared the city’s plan of action, which began on Wednesday at 4 a.m. and ends on Friday. The first crew began work on the main roads Wednesday morning, then moved to secondary and industrial streets as the day progressed. A secondary crew finished those routes and then started on the residential areas Wednesday night. On Thursday, the first crew will finish residential areas and help parks clear bridge decks, and Friday is designated for clearing snow from downtown. The crews are receiving four hours or more of overtime each shift. Bowsher said there was “nothing out of the ordinary” with this storm, unlike the storm before Christmas with water main breaks and lift station and generator issues.
“Every storm presents some challenges. For this one, the intensity of the snow allowed roads to quickly get covered. However, we also had a couple of factors working in our favor with this storm event,” Bruning said. “One, the timing. The heaviest snow hit in the very early morning hours and slacked off before the morning commute really ramped up. Second, the warmer temperatures really allowed our salt and brine to be as effective as possible. Third, people seemed to heed our warning to avoid travel this morning. Fewer vehicles on the road is a huge help to our crews. The plows don’t have to navigate around other vehicles, the risk of our plows getting hit is reduced, and the snow doesn’t get as packed down on the road.”
“The plan of attack, materials, and personnel was no different with this storm than it was for the storm right before Christmas, but the weather and traffic conditions helped us achieve much better results.”
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.