New ODOT garage a plus for our area

Residents living near the former Ohio Department of Transportation garage outside Wintersville can sleep better this winter now that they won’t have to listen to the constant noise of salt trucks being filled up during a snowstorm.

Hopefully all Jefferson County residents can sleep better this winter with ODOT’s claim its new garage on county Road 43, Wintersville, will make its drivers more efficient during storms.

ODOT officially opened its new $7.5 million garage this week.

ODOT’s truck drivers certainly will appreciate the amenities. Drivers used to have to wash trucks outside in cold winter weather after completing long shifts of plowing and spreading salt. There is now an indoor washing station.

The new garage also has a 6,000-ton salt storage building, a mix building with added material capacity, nine-bay equipment storage and 19-stall truck storage buildings and a main building with offices.

Anyone who owns a vehicle knows keeping it in a garage and regularly washing it during the winter can add some life to the vehicle. ODOT is hoping to extend the life of its equipment by doing the same thing.

ODOT believes the garage, although not that far from the old building, is more centrally located to attack winter storms that bring snow and ice.

There are 12 snow routes in the county, with drivers completing an average of 40 miles plowing and spreading salt.

Drivers are expected to work around the clock in bad weather. ODOT does a pretty good job in keeping the main state routes clear but the more rural areas can become tricky with blowing snow and drifts.

The old ODOT garage was once in a more rural area off Cadiz Road, but the neighborhood grew up around the state facility. The beep, beep, beep of trucks and loaders backing can be a little annoying during the middle of the night.

The old garage was built in 1955, so the state certainly got a lot of life out of the building.

ODOT is dumping a large amount of cash into projects in Jefferson County. The work, including some local share, totals $48.6 million this year. A large chunk of that – $21.9 million – is for the slip-repair project on state Route 7 at Rush Run.

It is good to see our taxes paid to the state coming home.