“Taking Care of What We Have” with ODOT

ODOT Taking Care 2The Ohio Department of Transportation is responsible for 43,000 miles of Ohio roads and 14,000 of the state’s bridges.  In fact, ODOT spends 93% of its time and resources maintaining Ohio’s roadways.  But while the cost of road repair increased with inflation over the past ten years, funding did not.  Each $1.00 spent on repair in 2006 would require an expenditure of $1.56 today. In comparison, the state gas tax, which provides the primary source of highway funding, has remained flat since 2006.  In a bold effort to make each dollar go further, ODOT recently launched “Taking Care of What We Have” an innovative program designed to preserve Ohio’s roadways and stave off the high cost of replacement.

“Taking Care of What We Have” focuses on extending the service life of existing roads and bridges through a powerful combination of Technology, Aggressive Preservation and Collaboration. ODOT now uses state-of-the-art pavement management software technology to analyze road conditions and determine road resurfacing priorities.  Their preservation strategy follows an aggressive schedule of cleaning, sealing, painting and resurfacing roads and bridges statewide.  And to ensure the preservation strategy works, the program requires ongoing collaboration between ODOT planning engineers, highway technicians and contractors.

“Taking Care of What We Have” is a bold initiative for sure, but what does it mean to the citizens of Ohio?  Consider these benefits, taken directly from the FAQ section of ODOT’s Preservation web site:

First, it results in better roadway conditions, improving safety and traffic flow for motorists, truck drivers, motorcyclists, and bicyclists – all road users across the state.

Second, it’s important to our economy because the roads under ODOT’s care move 67% of the state’s freight traffic.  Plus, better road conditions help you get to work on time, products to the store when you need them, and your latest online order to your door.

Third, it’s a smarter use of Ohio’s taxpayer dollars – paying smaller amounts on the work we do now so we don’t pay a lot more to fix problems later.

Kudos to ODOT for developing this proactive program!  Be sure to check out the Maintaining Roads and Bridges section and the “Taking Care of What We Have” video on the ODOT website.  They are chock full of great information that all Ohioans should know.

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