Department of Highways, District 10
Ice storm debris removal to follow snow and ice priority routes
JACKSON, KY – When contractors begin work Monday, Feb. 23 to remove fallen trees and limbs from roadsides in six east-central and eastern Kentucky counties, they will follow the same priorities the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet uses for snow and ice removal.
The Finance and Administration Cabinet awarded contracts last week for removal of debris from January’s ice storm in Breathitt, Estill, Magoffin, Menifee, Morgan and Powell counties. Each of these counties was included in a presidential disaster declaration issued following the ice storm, and a large portion of the expenses incurred will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Preliminary planning for the project began Monday, Feb. 16, and work this week has primarily focused on acquiring and preparing sites for disposal of the trees and limbs.
The debris cleanup effort will include all state routes in each of the six counties, as well as county roads in Powell County.
Two crews will be working in each county, and work will begin on major routes designated as Priority A for snow and ice removal. Afterwards, work will move to minor and secondary routes designated as Priority B and C.
Maps of the priority routes can be found at http://www.kytc.state.ky.us/D10/maps.asp.
The work will consist of removing fallen trees and branches from highway rights-of-way, as well as cutting leaning or overhanging trees that still constitute a hazard to motorists.
Contractors will only be picking up fallen trees and branches along the roadside. They will not pick up metal, plastic or wood products such as paneling, siding, plywood or cut lumber. Only one pass will be made along each highway. Contractors also will not be going onto private property to remove fallen trees and limbs from yards or fields.
Although priority routes have been established, dates that debris will be picked up along specific highways have not been determined. Work schedules will be set on a tentative basis, and may be impacted by weather conditions as well as quantities of debris encountered by the crews. Work is expected to be completed by April 6.
Motorists are urged to watch for these debris removal crews once they begin work. They are urged to “Drive Smart” and be on the lookout for flaggers and equipment in the impacted areas. This work will require lane closures on multi-lane routes, and temporary traffic stoppages on two-lane routes. Drivers should anticipate delays and plan their trips accordingly.