Turnpike’s preparedness for winter begins with snowplow inspections

Nov 7, 2023 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

The Name a Snowplow winner Blizzard Winner was selected from entries at the Ohio Turnpike’s Elmore maintenance center in 2022. (Ohio Turnpike)

In preparation for the upcoming winter driving season, employees from the Ohio Turnpike last week performed a 136-point inspection of all snowplow trucks and equipment at eight maintenance facilities, including Elmore in Ottawa County, across the 241-mile toll road.

The maintenance checklist includes an inspection of all engine parts, plowing equipment, tires, lights, and other components as well as a test calibration of the salt and liquid de-icing systems, and more.

“The importance of these inspections is to make sure the snowplow trucks are ready to go for the safety of our patrons who rely on the Ohio Turnpike for their travel needs,” said Jeff Landel, superintendent of the Ohio Turnpike’s Western Division, which includes the maintenance facilities in Elmore (Ottawa County), Pioneer (Williams County), Swanton (Fulton County), and Castalia (Erie County).

Landel, a resident of Edgerton, Ohio, began his career with the Ohio Turnpike as a maintenance/roadway worker, which included snowplow duties, in 1996.

“It’s been a rewarding career,” added Landel, who climbed the ranks with several job promotions over more than two decades to become superintendent in 2021.

This year, more than 100 snowplow trucks at eight maintenance buildings will be available to maintain the Ohio Turnpike’s 1,395 lane miles, 31 toll plaza interchanges, and 14 service plazas across 13 counties in northern Ohio. Each facility maintains a 30-mile stretch of the turnpike.

“Motorists should take every precaution to avoid passing snowplow trucks and allow extra space for the drivers to clear the road,” said Ferzan Ahmed, executive director of the turnpike commission in Berea. “Don’t crowd the plow. The safest place to be is behind a snowplow truck.”

When required, the Ohio Turnpike’s maintenance/roadway crews will work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week to provide travelers with a safe and reliable roadway during the winter season, Ahmed added.

“The entire 241-mile Ohio Turnpike can be plowed once per hour with the current staffing and equipment levels,” Ahmed said. “During winter storms, motorists should consider traveling only when necessary.”

The turnpike commission’s eastern division includes maintenance facilities in Amherst (Lorain County), Richfield (Summit County), Windham (Portage County) and Canfield (Mahoning County).

If your vehicle breaks down or you are involved in a crash, turn on your hazard lights, move your vehicle as far off the roadway as possible, remain in the vehicle, and dial #677 for assistance in Ohio.

For more information, visit www.ohioturnpike.org.

The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission is looking to fill several career opportunities at its maintenance facilities.

Positions are currently available for maintenance/roadway workers, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, body shop, and a landscaper as well as apprentice trainees.

For a complete list of career opportunities and locations, visit https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/ohioturnpike

The Ohio Turnpike’s third annual Name-a-Snowplow contest is underway!

Here are the contest rules: The name submission period runs through Wednesday, Nov. 15.; Commission officials will select 30 names for a public vote, which runs from Nov. 20 to Dec. 6.; The eight snowplow names receiving the most votes will be announced as the winners on Dec. 11.; Each winner will receive a $100 gift card.; Previous contests are not eligible.

Eight unique names will be assigned to eight snowplow trucks in service at the eight maintenance buildings located across the 241-mile Ohio Turnpike in the cities of Elmore, Pioneer, Swanton, Castalia, Amherst, Richfield, Windham, and Canfield.

To enter the contest or for more details, visit https://www.ohioturnpike.org/media/2023-name-a-snowplow-contest

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