Season’s first snowfall challenges road crews

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The Ohio Department of Transportation said it wasn't able to treat the roads Thursday night

(WKBN) – The season’s first snowfall made traveling tricky on Friday. Area road crews are already looking ahead to what could be our next weather event.

Interstate 80 in Liberty saw semis jack-knifing Friday morning.

A series of accidents on I-680 in Youngstown forced police to close the northbound lanes for several hours.

“Starting at 5 a.m., we had our crews out there. By 6 a.m., we had over 15 plow trucks out salting the interstates,” said Ray Marsch, with the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The state was never able to pretreat the roads because Thursday’s rain and snow mix left pavement too wet to use brine.

“We were monitoring the pavement temperatures…with the condition of the snow on the road and temperatures dipped, you know, it froze,” Marsch said.

With the number of accidents increasing, school buses had trouble getting through their routes.

Classes at Poland Schools had to be delayed because of a crash on Route 224. It happened in front of Holy Family Church, so the school there had to close for the day.

With traffic emptying off of I-680, there was a backup along E. Midlothian Boulevard until the freeway reopened shortly after 9 a.m.

For now, crews are keeping their eyes on the next snow event, which could hit the area Tuesday morning.

“We’ll be out Monday night, spreading brine and salt on the road, pretreating, getting everything ready for the snowstorm that will come in,” Marsch said.

ODOT encourages drivers to take their time and be careful when traveling in snowy and icy conditions.

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