Plowing roads by the numbers: How many, how long and where?

WKBN 27 First News takes a look at how long it takes to plow roads in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – When the snow starts flying this weekend, county and state crews will be out treating the roads. It will take time to cover then all.

In Mahoning County one pass takes five hours. Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti said his crews cover 485 lane miles – that’s both directions on any given road. In Trumbull County, the total is closer to 1,000 miles and it takes two dozen crews about three hours to make one sweep. Columbiana covers 340 miles and their crews get it done in about 2.5 hours.

Those numbers are pretty accurate if things run smoothly, but that doesn’t always happen.

“Snow plowing is very rugged, very difficult on the trucks and occasionally we have breakdowns,” Ginnetti said.

Workers with the Ohio Department of Transportation use a similar strategy by dividing the counties into routes that average two to three hours to complete. Crews in Mahoning County cover 730 miles with 17 trucks, Trumbull County covers 850 miles and state crews in Columbiana use 16 trucks over 645 miles.

Our neighbors in Pennsylvania handle things differently. With no county engineer’s office, PennDot handles the bulk of the work. In Mercer County alone that’s about 1,600 miles. It takes four to five hours to cover all 34 plowing routes.

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