FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. — With winter weather fast approaching, Kentucky Transportation (KYTC) District 9, which oversees Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas, Rowan counties, is taking proper measures for preparation.
According to Allen Blair, public information officer of KYTC District 9, crews have been trained and are ready to go.
“We have already conducted all of our training and have gotten all of our crew members together. Overall we have about 170 crew members we use to snow plows and all of the equipment that we need to fight winter weather,” Blair said. “We also have dozens of support staff, anyone from administrative specialists to engineers watching forecasts, keeping up with the plow crews and making sure that everyone is working as quickly as possible to keep the roads clear.”
As it pertains to equipment for winter weather, there are approximately 70 snow plows, and other pieces of equipment across the 10 counties that make up KYTC District 9.
“Our main mission in the Transportation Cabinet is to keep the traffic moving in a safe manner,” he said. “We are going to emphasize mobility along critical corridors and those high priority routes, such as US 23 in the northeastern Kentucky sector and the AA Highway, those sector routes that connect across Kentucky and across state lines. Those are our priority routes, and also those critical corridors that join communities to get people to hospitals and other places that they really need to get to. Those are our main focus during winter, so we have a priority system that we use.”
A system is implemented to determine which roads are treated first.
“All of our highways are important, but we do classify them into three priorities based on traffic volume and the needs that they serve,” he said. “A road that connects to hospitals will be among the first roads that we plow. We do have to treat the roads on a priority basis to make sure that traffic is moving as safely as possible. Eventually, during the storms we do get to all of the roads, and that will vary from storm to storm.”
KYTC road crews will work on 12 hour shifts during snow storms, and are prepared to work around the clock, which is contingent upon the storm, according to Blair.
“Our only focus during those 12 hour shifts is to make sure that we are removing snow and ice from the roadways to keep traffic moving safely,” he said. “All of our crews will be shifted to snow removal duty on 12 hour shifts.”
District 9 also has ample salt supply to treat roads throughout the counties.
“We do currently have enough salt to take us through winter,” he said. “We have access to quite a large stockpile of salt, so we are confident in the supply that we have. Should we run low, we do have access to contracts in place that will allow us to get salt in a moment’s notice. Judging from past winters we have enough for this winter.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862 or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.