By Portia Williams
FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. — Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) District 9 crews are ready for winter weather duty. District 9 is fully stocked with salt and snow removal priority routes established, and have positioned themselves to combat winter weather conditions.
Chief District Engineer Bart Bryant of KYTC, said they take response to snow and ice very seriously.
“We take snow and ice response very seriously,” 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.”
District 9 currently has approximately 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.
Allen Blair, information officer for KYTC District 9, said their supplies are in tact, and crews are ready to go.
“We work on taking delivers of salt throughout the summer, so that by October we are getting close to full, we are still receiving some shipments, but not very many and now we are pretty well full with our salt supply in each county,” Blair said. “Across our 10 counties we have 22, 000 tons of salt, and it should go up a little bit more than that in the next few weeks, and hat is an ample supply of salt that is generally about what we can store and then we can draw upon the reserves that the state has as well as receive salt throughout the winter and we do get shipments when we deplete some of our salt storage. We are ready and prepared for 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.
KYTC highway response teams across Kentucky serve weekly on-call rotations during the course of the snow season, which is October through March of each year. 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.
Highway District 9 snow removal priority route listings in Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and Rowan counties.
Greenup County: Priority A routes include US 23, KY 1, KY 8, KY 10, KY 67, KY 827, KY 693, the northern half of KY 7 and a portion of KY 207. Priority B routes are KY 2, KY 7, KY 207, KY 503, KY 244, KY 2433, KY 1458, KY 2541, KY 410 and KY 3105. Other routes are Priority C.
Lewis County: Priority A routes include KY 9/10 (AA Highway), KY 59 and KY 8 east of Vanceburg. Priority B routes are KY 57, KY 10 through Tollesboro, KY 344, KY 559, KY 377 and KY 3020. Other routes are Priority C.
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. Find more information about District 9 online at http://transportation.ky.gov/district-9.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.