State highway crews ready for winter weather duty

FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (WTVQ) – With salt stockpiled and snow removal priority routes established, Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 crews are once again ready for winter weather duty.

At this time, District 9 has about 22,000 tons of salt and 75 snow plows, salt spreaders and other equipment on hand across Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and Rowan counties to keep 2,000 miles of state highways passable during inclement weather.

“We take snow and ice response very seriously,” Chief District Engineer Bart Bryant said. “Highway safety is an essential function of the Transportation Cabinet, and our highway crews are prepared to meet that mandate by keeping our roads as safe as possible during winter weather.”

When snowy or icy weather hits, state highway crews are assigned 12-hour shifts to plow and treat roads using a priority system based on the amount and nature of traffic within each individual county.

Priority A routes include major routes and those most heavily-traveled such as interstates, which receive the highest priority for snow-clearing efforts. Priority B routes include other important, but lesser-traveled state routes. Other roads are Priority C.

While it’s the Transportation Cabinet’s goal to treat all routes within eight hours of a routine winter storm event – dependent upon the severity of the storm – higher-priority routes are treated more frequently.

Throughout snow season, which runs from October to March each year, highway response teams across Kentucky serve weekly on-call rotations. The teams monitor weather reports when snow is in the forecast and determine when to activate the state’s arsenal of snow-fighting equipment, including the more than 1,000 snow plows at maintenance facilities across Kentucky.

Motorists are reminded to give a wide berth to plows, salt trucks and other snow-clearing equipment. To be effective in dispersing de-icing material, trucks tend to travel at a slower speed. Also, snow plows may create a snow cloud which can cause a white out or zero visibility condition, so keep a safe distance away from the trucks.

More information – including priority route maps for individual counties – is available online via District 9’s “Snow and Ice” web page at http://bit.ly/D9Snow.

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