A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Snow and ice removal crews will be pretreating state routes in NKY over the next few days — be alert

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 6 snow and ice removal crews will be pretreating state routes over the next three days for the first winter event predicted for Thursday.

Motorists should be alert for slow-moving KYTC vehicles on the move spraying brine on the roadways in advance of the winter weather system. Brine is sprayed on pavement that dries to leave a fine powder coating of salt that sticks on the road driving surface that is activated by falling snow. Anti-icing initially improves driving conditions in the early hours of a snow and ice event, then makes it easier for crews to plow snow by keeping frozen precipitation from bonding to the pavement.

Motorists are reminded to adjust their driving behavior to meet localized weather conditions as the snow & ice develops. Motorists are advised to monitor the weather forecast via area news media outlets or go.

Motorists should plan their Thursday evening commute by leaving early to allow more time to reach their destination or later to allow the conditions to improve. If you are able, stay and work from home.   If you must travel, motorists should simply remember – When it snows, take it slow.

District 6 starts out with 31,350 tons of salt each winter season stored in the domes located at the state maintenance facilities. There are 120 trucks, state and contractors, available to treat state roads and interstates.

Maintenance crews in KYTC District 6 have responsibility for clearing over 2,000 miles of state-maintained highways in the counties of Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Kenton, Owen, Pendleton and Robertson. That equates to 4,670 “lane miles” – all driving lanes from rural state roads to interstate highways. District 6 state maintenance crews are prepared to work to keep roads in the best possible condition during winter weather.

In the Northern Kentucky counties of Boone, Kenton and Campbell, District 6 is responsible for 1,868 lane miles of roadway. Crews have stockpiled 16,500 tons of salt and over 26,000 gallons of brine for de-icing in the three counties. Sixty-two trucks are available for snow and ice removal, Several trucks will concentrate on the six-mile section of I-75 between Buttermilk Pike and the Brent Spence Bridge that includes the “Cut in the Hill.”

When snowstorms hit, crews in affected counties are assigned 12-hour shifts to plow and treat state roadways on a priority basis – part of the Transportation Cabinet’s mission to keep traffic moving in a safe manner with an emphasis on maintaining mobility along critical corridors.

Priority A routes include critical state routes and those most heavily traveled such as interstates and main roads between counties or to hospitals, which receive the highest priority for snow-clearing efforts. Priority B and C routes include other important but lesser-traveled state routes.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has a webpage just for snow and ice information. The public can visit http://snowky.ky.gov to learn more about priority routes, access helpful winter weather tips and fact sheets and view informational videos on salt application and snow removal.

In addition, the public can monitor winter operations in real time on the state’s interactive traffic system – GoKY.ky.gov – to find out what’s happening on state routes in their local counties.

Every snowstorm is different and presents unique challenges, such as air temperature, pavement temperature, timing of snowfall, and ice. Last winter season, 2020 – 2021, District 6 crews used 47/587 tons of salt, 34,287 gallons of brine, and 49,560 gallons of liquid chloride. In all, District 6 spent $6.7 million on equipment, materials, and labor.

Be prepared:

The following measures will help keep motorists safe and prepared:

• Put yourself in emergency mode
• Pay attention to weather advisories. Weather will impact your commute on some level
• Travel only as necessary during major snow events. It’s better to be stuck at home than to be stuck on the road
• Maintain a safe distance from snowplows and other heavy highway equipment
• Do not pass snowplows on the shoulder
• Allow time for a slower commute
• Winterize vehicles
• Supply vehicles with blankets, flash light and an emergency supply kit
• Know before you go. Visit ky.gov and download the free Waze app to check traffic conditions before you travel
• Eliminate distractions (e.g. operating phone and eating) while driving
• Cooperate with the expectations of the Quick Clearance law, which requires drivers to move vehicles to the shoulder in the event of a non-injury crash

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