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The Cost of Winter

Updated: 4/09/2013 6:30 P.M.

It wasn't as mild as last year, but, overall, winter in the Mid-Ohio Valley wasn't bad either.

That helped keep district three of the West Virginia Division of Highways under its $5 million snow removal budget this year.
Snowfall was tough in much of the state all winter long, but, most of the time, we were the exception.

"We have spent about 82% of that, so we should come out a little bit ahead as far as funds go," says District 3 Director Rusty Roten. "We actually put down about 28,000 tons of material on the roads this year."

Statewide, the Department of Transportation has spent all but $5.5 million of its $58.2 million snow and ice removal budget.

That means the agency might not have much left over from snow removal funds to fill potholes and do other paving work.

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It could be snow, it could be freezing rain, and it could be just rain. We might get all three before Friday morning is over. And that's expected to keep local highway workers busy all night and into the day.

And remember, if it's difficult for cars to drive on ice, imagine what it's like for the trucks which treat the roads.

"The truck is two times bigger than the car, so it has more weight," says Curtis Richards, Highway Administrator, District 3, West Virginia Division of Highways. "We take precautions, we put chains on the tires, and take it a little bit slower."

And in Ohio, treating the roads also means pre-treating them. The Buckeye State puts down a brine solution which helps melt snow and ice as it falls.

"Depending on the temperature, brine buys us some time to get in there and keep the traveling public safe," Ryan Mayle, Transportation Manager, District 10, Ohio Department of Transportation says. "Salt lowers the freezing point of water, so it's effective on ice as well. With the temperatures we're planning on having tonight, it should be very effective."

If you had been out in early afternoon Thursday, you may not have known that sleet and freezing rain may be on the way. But it was during the good weather in the afternoon, that crews were getting ready for the bad weather that may be coming overnight.

Also keeping an eye on things is Wood County Schools, who tell us they may decide sometime Thursday night-to either issue a two-hour delay or to close schools Friday.

When that decision is made, by Wood County or by the other area schools-we'll let you know.


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