KYTC: Road crews ready for winter weather

LOUISVILLE, KY (KYTC) – With unseasonably warm temperatures during the month of December, many folks have been wondering when snow would finally arrive in the Louisville area. That time may come this weekend with light snow forecasted for the region on Sunday.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) maintenance crews have been ready for winter precipitation for a few months. KYTC personnel begin thinking about winter weather as early as July. Planning for snow and ice removal gets underway during summer months by ordering snow-melting chemicals for the coming winter and scheduling training for staff.

KYTC road crews in District 5, which covers Louisville Metro and seven surrounding counties, are ready for whatever Mother Nature throws their way in the coming months. Annual training for snow plow drivers was conducted in October. Inspection of equipment at all maintenance facilities was completed in November.

Currently, the KYTC District 5 facilities combined have approximately 40,000 tons of salt on hand. Approximately 157,000 gallons of liquid calcium chloride and 95,000 gallons of salt brine are also in stock to help combat snow and ice this winter. District 5 has the equipment to produce more brine in order to replenish supplies.

Since this weekend’s snow will be preceded by rain, crews will not pre-treat area roadways with brine. The rain would wash away the salt residue left behind from the brine solution.

District 5 personnel have the responsibility for clearing more than 3,500 single lane miles of state-maintained highways in the counties of Bullitt, Franklin, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble. 158 state and contract trucks are utilized to salt and plow the roadways in these eight counties with 56 of these trucks concentrated on the interstates in Jefferson County.

Per an ongoing agreement with Louisville Metro government, the Metro Department of Public Works will treat and clear state roads other than interstate highways—about 400 miles of roads—in Louisville.

To view the priority network for snow removal by county, click here.

As KYTC crews have made preparations for clearing roadways, motorists should also be prepared for driving in snow and ice by following these tips:

• Make sure your vehicle is sufficiently winterized before inclement weather arrives. Check the battery, antifreeze level, heater, defroster, wipers and windshield washer.
• Check your tires for sufficient tread. Bald tires increase the risk of losing control and sliding off the road.
• Try to keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent fuel line freezing and to prepare for possible lengthy delays on the roadway.
• Make sure your vehicle has an emergency care kit. It should include jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, an ice scraper, blankets, nonperishable food, a first aid kit, and traction material.
• Check the forecast and call 511 or visit for the latest condition reports before traveling. You can also get traffic information for the District 5 counties on Facebook and twitter. Avoid nonessential travel if conditions are dangerous.
• Drive carefully. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Do not use cruise control.

Categories: News, State News