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* News Release *
 
Thursday, October 12, 1998
For Immediate Release

COUNTY ENGINEER'S OFFICE PREPARES FOR WINTER OF 98-99

The Butler County Engineer's Office will gear up for winter this week with its annual Snowfighters ROADEO. This four-day event gets underway tomorrow as drivers begin a round of safety training plus equipment and maintenance reviews.

All drivers will review plow blade replacement, calcium fill procedures with gloves and mask, tire chain utilization, and emergency procedures for a stuck vehicle or an accident. Additional driver training includes a detailed vehicle safety inspection, driving actual assigned routes, and driving their snow plows through an obstacle course designed to simulate actual winter situations.

A good supply of salt and calcium chloride is already stocked at the Engineer's Office. Additional supplies will be ordered as the need arises, which will depend on what kind of winter we have. The BCEO budgets for 3,700 tons of salt for a typical Butler County winter.

BCEO crews keep 267 miles of County roadway safe and passable with eleven snow and ice control routes. An additional twelfth route concentrates primarily on the heavily populated southeastern townships. Routing is determined by a computerized system which takes several factors into account when configuring the most efficient routes for Butler County's salt trucks -- lane miles to be covered, speed limits, spread rates, plus any load limitations on bridges.

A new weather monitoring system installed last year by the BCEO allows more detailed tracking of ground conditions and approaching winter storms. Reports are also utilized from spotters around the County who include township officials, local police and fire agencies, the Sheriff's Department, BCEO staff members, and the general public.

Snow Emergency

In rare instances, a Snow Emergency may be declared necessitating limited or restricted driving conditions. For an overview of Snow Emergency classifications, please see Road and Travel Conditions. The BCEO will post Snow Emergency notifications and local driving conditions on the Road and Travel Conditions page as well. The media is also immediately notified whenever a snow emergency is declared. Motorists are encouraged to monitor local media or the BCEO's web site -- www.bceo.org -- for initial notifications plus any changes in the designated level of the snow emergency.

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