By GENNA NEWMAN FREED
With $1,304,224, you could buy over 1.3 million candy bars.
Or, you could buy one winter’s worth of road clearing on Hancock County’s major highways.
The Ohio Department of Transportation reports that it took 11,272 tons of salt and 57,600 gallons of salt brine to keep Hancock County’s state and federal routes clear of snow and ice this winter.
Add in labor, and the department’s bill was over $1.3 million to maintain 561 miles of roadway in the county.
In Wyandot County, the state spent over $1.18 million and used 8,526 tons of salt and 79,209 gallons of brine on 461 miles of roads.
Nearly as much was spent in Allen County: over $1.17 million. The state used 8,855 tons of salt and 61,635 gallons of brine on 455 miles of roads in that county.
The bill in Putnam County was over $1 million to clear 422 miles of state and federal highways. The state used 6,805 tons of salt and 30,847 gallons of salt brine.
In Hardin County, $831,797 was spent to clear highways this winter. The state used 5,935 tons of salt and 6,687 gallons of brine.
In the Ohio Department of Transportation’s District 1, which those five counties, plus Defiance, Paulding and Van Wert counties, the state spent $8.6 million this winter, more than double the $4.1 million average cost over the past 10 years. More than 62,000 tons of salt and over 425,000 gallons of salt brine were used to treat roadways in District 1.
At this point during last year’s warmer winter, state snowplow crews had used 43,431 tons of salt and the department had spent $4.4 million.
Snowplow crews drove more than 1.3 million miles to clear roads in the district this winter.
In addition to snow and ice, potholes are a winter weather hazard.
In Hancock County alone, the state spent $31,434 to patch potholes this winter season. Allen County came in second at $22,022, followed by Hardin County, $21,787; Wyandot County, $15,989; and Putnam County, $15,871.
The pothole total for the district thus far this season is $136,860.
The department cautions that winter may not be over. There is a supply of more than 6,400 tons of salt available in the eight counties of District 1 if the need arises.
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