New technology helping crews deal with winter weather

By Dan Wells - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - As winter weather approaches the Tri-State, local snow plow drivers are relying on the latest in technology to help them in the war against winter's worst.

That technology is also helping the state of Ohio deal with the high price of road salt.

It's called the "Smart Salt Strategy." It's the Ohio Department of Transportation's program to keep the highways safe by using the right amounts of salt, materials and manpower at the right times and right locations.

A quick change in weather can be dangerous. A lack of supplies can be even worse.

"We're low on salt and it's a real issue," said Tony Morris with ODOT. "So we're going back to a calibrated system. It's a salt distribution system that way we can track our salt usage per storm."

ODOT snow plow drivers are turning to the latest in technology to keep Ohio roads clear, and on budget.

Onboard driver support systems in trucks are being used now more than ever. They constantly update drivers about local weather, radar and road conditions.

"It just depends on temperature and how many lane miles the route is," said Morris.

ODOT's "Smart Salt Strategy" was developed to help drivers use salt 30 percent more efficiently while still ensuring safe conditions. It uses infrared temperature sensors showing crews the exact surface temperature of the roadways, so they put salt down only where it's needed.

District 8, which is seven counties surrounding Cincinnati, has about 140 trucks equipped with the latest in technology to keep you safe on local roadways.

Every ODOT snow plow has calibrated salt spreaders, so crews can adjust the mix of salt, brine, and road gripping additives to make up the most traction on any road you choose to travel.