Winter Storm Day 2: Transportation Cabinet road crews gaining traction with snow removal
Crews gearing up for next, lighter round of snow tonight
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 17, 2015) – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet road crews have continued plowing and treating roads to keep interstates and main routes open after a deep snow and a deep freeze Monday. Sun and temperatures in the 20s helped crews on Tuesday as they were able to clear most roadways.
Some roads remain snow-covered with a few slick spots, particularly in shaded areas, but most are passable. As crews finish the first round, many are gearing up for a second, lighter round of snow expected to make its way through the state beginning tonight and into Wednesday. The National Weather Service cautions that the additional snow may create slick conditions all over again.
Gov. Steve Beshear on Monday declared a statewide emergency because of the storm, which blanketed the Bluegrass State with up to a foot of snow. It fell at such a rate that plowed roadways quickly became covered again.
As with any significant snowfall, citizens should be aware that plowing may result in snow piles that block driveways, subdivision entrances and side streets. It is regrettable but unavoidable when plow crews must clear deep snow.
Road crews will continue to work 12-hour shifts tonight and into Wednesday to maintain passable roadways throughout the state.
The Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) can deploy 1,000 snow plows and 385 contractors with plows, but has responsibility for 63,000 lane miles of roadway. Some districts supplemented the plow fleet with road graders.
The cabinet also deployed 17 SAFE Patrol trucks – Safety Assistance for Freeway Emergencies – whose drivers are trained to render emergency assistance. SAFE Patrol units operate along interstate routes, parkways, U.S. 23 and KY 80.
“It has been a major challenge to keep our interstates and other main routes passable,” Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said.
If travel cannot be avoided, motorists are advised to slow down, buckle up, rid themselves of distractions such as cell phones and keep extra distance – at least 500 feet – between themselves and other vehicles.
Snow removal efforts have been focused on the interstates and other major routes. Secondary and rural roads will be salted and plowed once main routes have been cleared. To view the priority network for snow removal, go to http://transportation.ky.gov/Maintenance/Pages/Snow-and-Ice-Priority-Maps.aspx and select a county.
Keep up with KYTC news via Twitter, http://twitter.com/kytc, and Facebook, http://facebook.com/kytc120. Traffic and travel assistance is at http://511.ky.gov or by dialing 511.