Department of Highways, District 10
Transportation Cabinet's District 10 prepares for winter weather in 10-county region of eastern Kentucky
JACKSON, KY – (Nov. 13, 2006) – If the drastic change in Kentucky's weather last week, from sunny 70-degree days to cloudy 30-degree days with the dreaded "s-word" -- snow -- mentioned in the forecast, wasn't a giveaway, a peek at the calendar will tell you that winter is fast approaching. This fact is not lost on the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, which experiences its busiest time of the year in winter.
That’s why personnel in the Department of Highways District 10 are getting ready for the busy snow and ice removal season in the 10 counties which make up the district.
"Our mission to provide a safe and efficient transportation system for Kentucky drivers gets put to the test during the winter," said Bill Nighbert, Transportation Cabinet secretary. "Our team members always rise to the challenge and work tirelessly during winter storms to clear the roads so drivers can reach their destinations without problems or delays."
"Governor Ernie Fletcher puts significant emphasis on highway safety, and keeping roads clear of snow and ice is one of the most important things we do in terms of that philosophy. We take this role very seriously," Nighbert added.
"Our employees have traditionally done an excellent job in keeping roads clear during the winter," said Linda Wagner-Justice, chief district engineer for District 10. "That would not be possible without lots of advance planning. That’s why we’re starting now, while the weather is still good, to get ready for adverse conditions. Governor Fletcher has stressed highway safety as an essential function of the Transportation Cabinet, and we intend to do our part by keeping our roads as safe as possible for drivers during bad weather."
The hilly to mountainous terrain of the district can be especially troublesome for motorists during winter weather, so District 10 workers get an early start in making sure they are ready to quickly and efficiently clear roads once the snow starts flying.
Priority routes for snow and ice removal have already been identified. Crew members have stocked snow-melting chemicals at various locations throughout the district and checked equipment to make sure it will work properly when needed. District 10 personnel are also laying in an ample supply of the special cold-weather asphalt that will be required to patch potholes that develop as a result of freezing and thawing.
Winter may occupy only three months on the calendar, from late December to late March, but the mountains of eastern Kentucky can experience winter precipitation from November through April, so preparations are essential to ensure that the state can plow and salt snow-covered roads to ensure the safety of the traveling public. In fact, snow was reported last week in some of the region's highest elevations.
District 10 personnel have the responsibility for clearing more than 1,800 miles of state-maintained highways in the counties of Breathitt, Estill, Lee, Magoffin, Menifee, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Powell and Wolfe. This mileage includes the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway and the Hal Rogers Parkway, as well as other heavily traveled routes linking these counties together and to the rest of Kentucky.
Salt was recently delivered to the Department of Highways District 10 Equipment Garage in Beattyville in preparation for snow and ice removal. The Department of Highways has an ample supply of salt on hand to keep roads in the 10-county district clear during inclement winter weather.