GREENVILLE — Though the winter of 2016-2017 was mild, there’s no telling what the coming winter will be like. Regardless, workers at the new Darke County Ohio Department Transportation (ODOT) garage now feel much better equipped to handle whatever “Mother Nature” throws at U.S. and State roadways in the county.
Administrators, employees, and area dignitaries were on hand Thursday to participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening the new facility.
District 7 Highway Management Administrator Scott Kasler told attendees “We appreciate everyone coming out and helping us open this new facility. We’re obviously very proud of this garage.”
The garage is located near the intersection of U.S. Route 127 and State Route 49, giving ODOT workers a prime location from which to access roadways in the county. The previous ODOT facility, located on State Route 571/U.S. Route 36 just east of Greenville, has been sold to the county.
Jeff Whetstone, former Darke County Transportation Administrator, called it more of a “celebration” than an “open house.”
“I didn’t just want to build a building. I wanted to work on processes to make things more user-friendly.” he said. “There’s five months out of the year these guys live here. They had input, and even chose the color of the building.”
One of the unique features of the Darke County garage is the drive-through salt barn, the first of its kind in the State of Ohio, and an idea borrowed from the Indiana Department of Transportation.
The facility also has much larger garages versus its prior location, to accommodate larger trucks, wing plows, and more traffic. As well, the employees have upgraded office areas, restrooms, break areas, a wash rack and a mechanic’s bay.
Brumbaugh Construction began building the complex a year ago. The cost of constructing the facility was $7.6 million.
Brumbaugh Construction Project Manager Jason Willis provided some facts and figures on its construction.
- 4,980 cubic yards of concrete;
- 190 tons of rebar;
- 150 tons of structural steel in the maintenance facility alone;
- 162,500 linear feet of wire;
- 6,500 tons of asphalt;
- Construction took 345 days and the project was finished on schedule.
“Every time I come up [State Route] 49, I’m still amazed by what a nice facility this is,” Willis said.
Darke County Commissioner Mike Rhoades concurred.
“This is an awesome facility,” he said. “This is state of the art.”
Randy Chevally, District 7 Deputy Director, said the new garage has a lot more room for employees and equipment, and this will help ODOT fulfill its mission of maintaining safe roads for motorists.
“This garage provides that space for today and in the future,” he said. “This one is a tremendous upgrade. Our employees deserve a place they can be proud of and that they can call home.”
Chevally also announced that Allan Davis would be taking over as Darke County Transportation Administrator with former admin Whetstone moving on to Mercer County.
“We have faith in Allan that he’ll do a great job,” said Chevally, handing Davis the keys to his “new office.”
For more information on ODOT’s District 7 happenings, go online to http://www.dot.state.oh.us/districts/d07/.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com
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