Road crews ready for winter

Published 7:52 am Tuesday, November 14, 2023


Kentucky Transportation Cabinet “snow fighter” highway crews are equipped, ready and waiting for winter weather to appear, and are asking all drivers to join the effort to keep the roads safe.

To help, high school students from across Kentucky participated in the first statewide “Paint the Plows” program this fall, not only to elevate the look of select state trucks, but also the message of safe winter driving behavior.

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“Transportation safety has been a high priority throughout my administration,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Our snow fighters do everything in their power to keep our roadways passable, and it all starts with thorough preparation. While they do their part, we all have our role to play by getting vehicles winter-ready and by being a safe driver behind the wheel.”

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) crews are stocked for the start of winter with:

• Over 1 million gallons of salt brine.

• 1 million gallons of calcium chloride.

• 340,000 tons of salt.

More than 1,400 plow trucks are standing by for when they are needed, according to KYTC, and more than 2,000 staff and crew members are trained and prepared to keep travelers moving.

“We are ready for winter,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Gray. “Our crews work long and hard, year after year, to keep our roads as safe as possible.  This year is no exception. We are grateful for our team of dedicated men and women who work on the front lines in hazardous conditions to keep fellow Kentuckians safe and commerce moving.”

KYTC uses a four-tier system to prioritize treatment and snow clearing on state-maintained routes. Route designations are based on factors such as traffic volume and connectivity to critical services like hospitals.

During routine snow and ice events, crews operate using snow and ice priority route maps for maximum equipment and materials usage efficiency. The cabinet has established a snow emergency plan for severe winter storm events to deploy resources within each county to cover the highest priority routes.

KYTC maintains most roads, streets and bridges that are part of the State Highway System, including interstates, parkways and U.S. route designations.