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State road crews ‘ready to roll’

Thursday, 12 20, 2012

Chuck Wolfe
Chuck.Wolfe@ky.gov
Office of Public Affairs
502.564.3419
Cell 502.382.7665

Transportation Cabinet prepared to treat roads before first statewide snowfall

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 20, 2012) – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) road crews are ready for the latest wintry blast.  KYTC staff is monitoring weather conditions and will send salt trucks out to patrol and treat the state’s roadways as temperatures drop below freezing this evening.

KYTC’s vehicle and equipment fleet includes 1,065 snow plows. In addition, the Cabinet can call on 375 contracted snow plow trucks to assist with snow and ice removal.

Maintenance crews totaling nearly 2,000 employees work as long as necessary to keep roadways open in the winter.

KYTC is responsible for maintaining 62,097 lane miles of roads but during snow and ice removal, the Cabinet handles 60,000 lane miles. The remaining roadways are handled by city or county road departments through which the routes pass.

To view the priority network for snow removal by county, go to http://transportation.ky.gov/Maintenance/Pages/Snow-and-Ice-Priority-Maps.aspx.

The Cabinet’s facilities combined have approximately 415,000 tons of salt, 1.1 million gallons of liquid calcium chloride and 900,000 gallons of salt brine on hand to combat snow and ice this winter.  KYTC is equipped to produce more brine in order to replenish supplies.

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 – check the battery, antifreeze level, heater, defroster, wipers and windshield washer. Check the forecast and call 511 or visit 511.ky.gov for the latest condition reports before traveling.
  
• Dress warmly for the weather –in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, in anticipation of unexpected emergencies.
 
• 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 a friend or relative is aware of your travel route.
 
• Carry a cell phone.
 
• 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.
 
• Drive carefully. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Do not use cruise control.

• Give a wide berth to snow removal equipment.
 
• Remember bridges and exit and entrance ramps can be icy when other areas are not.
 
• Stopping in snow requires more braking distance than stopping on dry pavement – up to four times more distance. Make sure to put plenty of distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead.
 
• Be visible. Dull, cloudy days will cut down on visibility, so drive using low-beam headlights.
 
• Steer into the skid. Stay calm and ease your foot off the gas while carefully steering in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go.
  
Condition reports on major routes are available by calling 511 or logging onto the 511 travel and traffic information website at http://511.ky.gov.  Road conditions are described in the following manner:

Wet Pavement – The roadway is wet. Ice could form as temperatures drop.

Partly Covered – The roadway is partly covered with snow, slush or ice.  Markings may be obscured.

Mostly Covered – The roadway is mostly covered with snow, slush or ice. Roadway markers may be difficult to see because of packed snow and rutting conditions.

Completely Covered – The roadway is completely covered with snow, slush or ice and markings are obscured.

Impassable – Roadway conditions are not suitable for travel unless required by an emergency.

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