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Published: Monday, 3/12/2012

Mild winter saves Ohio millions in weather-related road expenses


COLUMBUS — Ohio’s mild winter saved the state’s transportation department tens of millions of dollars in weather-related costs this year.

The Ohio Department of Transportation saved $43 million this winter after spending $80 million last year for winter-weather expenses from snow and ice, WCMH-TV in Columbus reported.

The savings can be used for other projects including road improvements such as resurfacing roadways and repairing guardrails, department spokesman Steve Faulkner said.

Ohio has about $2 billion worth of projects that need funding.

Several Ohio communities also say they have saved thousands of dollars on road salt, overtime, and other winter-weather costs.

Rick Tilton, with the city of Columbus, said Columbus paid only $332,000 for 5,681 tons of salt, compared with more than $1.6 million it spent last year for nearly 28,000 tons of salt.

“Not only does it save us money right now, it saves us money next winter,” Mr. Tilton said. “That salt that we have in the barn now — we just leave it there ‘til next winter.”

Another benefit for the public is that government workers have more time to spend on other projects, such as repairing potholes.

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