Snow & Ice Operations
 
When snow falls, highway maintenance crews work 12-hour shifts clearing snow from state highways. If it's snowing, you can watch the District 9 Twitter feed or check this link to see where crews are plowing across the state:
 
 
Transportation Cabinet crews in Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 operate more than 77 plows and use approximately 25,000 tons of salt and thousands of gallons of brine each year to keep state highways in northeast Kentucky clear!
 

 Check road conditions!

 

Kentucky travel information is available by dialing 511 or visiting online at www.511.ky.gov. Conditions are described as follows:
  • Wet pavement – Ice could form as temperatures drop.
  • Partly covered – Markings may be obscured by snow, slush or ice.
  • Mostly covered by snow, slush or ice.
  • Completely covered by snow, slush or ice.
  • Impassable – Conditions unsuitable for all but emergency travel.
For SAFE Patrol assistance, call 511 or toll-free at 1-877-FOR-KYTC ( 1-877-367-5982.)
 
 

 Drive safely near snow plows!

 

​During winter weather conditions, motorists are reminded to use caution and remember the following safety tips when driving near snowplows:

Be patient. Don't pass the plow. If it's safe, the plow will pull over and let you pass.

Be aware. A snowplow is slow moving, and may create snow clouds that can cause zero visibility.

Stay back. Give the plow and our snow-removal professionals room to work.

 

 Take it slow in ice and snow!

 

Drive carefully. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Do no use cruise control. Remember that bridges and exit and entrance ramps can be icy when other areas are not.

Leave a "space cushion." Leave enough room between you and the car in front of you because stopping in snow may require up to four times your normal stopping distance.

Be seen. Dull, cloudy days will cut down on visibility so drive using low-beam headlights.

Steer into a skid. Stay calm and ease your foot off the gas while carefully steering in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go.

Practice driving. During daylight, rehearse maneuvers slowly on ice or snow in an empty lot.​

 

 Know your salts!

 
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet uses three different types of salt compounds on roadways to help prevent snow and ice build up during a storm. Each adds a different level of protection for the traveling public ...
 
Road salt. Sodium chloride (NaCl), which is applied by truck-borne spreaders in coarse layers, is much like the common driveway salt. It reacts with water and wet snow, and lowers the freezing point of the resulting liquid. It sort of melts snow and keeps it from "sticking" on roadways, at least while temperatures are moderately cold.
 
Calcium chloride. Below certain temperatures, plain road salt becomes less effective so crews add liquid calcium chloride (CaCl) to the salt. The resulting mixture keeps snow from sticking on roadways at even colder temperatures.
 
Brine, or saltwater, is applied while roadways are dry. It's those parallel "lines" you see on pavement sometimes. Brine sticks to the road surface, ready to work when precipitation begins. Crews begin treatment in advance of a storm because anti-icing prevents the bonding of snow and ice to pavement.​
 

 Snow Plow Priority Routes

 

Crews clear snow from more than 2,000 miles of state highways in District 9, prioritized in each county based on average daily traffic with Priority A and B routes, the heaviest traveled, treated earliest.

View a list (PDF) of priority routes by county!

Or find your county below to see a map:

 

 Priority Route Definitions

 
Priority A: Interstates, parkways and major arteries such as US 23, US 60, KY 11 and KY 32, etc., with the highest traffic volume. While all roads are treated during a winter storm, these receive top priority with a goal of a one-hour turnaround time on interstates and two-hour turnaround on other A routes.
 
Priority B: Highways that are not as heavily traveled as ‘A' routes, which include KY 111, KY 36, KY 2, KY 5, etc., are treated next. All Priority B routes should be completely treated during a routine winter storm with a goal of a four-hour turnaround.
 
Priority C: Mainly rural and other low-volume routes are third on the list. The cabinet's goal is to treat Priority C routes within 8 hours of the beginning of a routine snow event, and with an 8 hour turnaround time after that.
Contact Information Contact Info
Department of Highways District 9
P.O. Box 347
822 Elizaville Ave
Flemingsburg, KY 41041
Toll Free: (800) 817-2551
Phone: (606) 845-2551
Hours: 8am - 4:30pm EST, M-F
Map it

Media Contact: Allen Blair
(606) 748-3716
allen.blair@ky.gov
 

 Did you know?

 

-- In October, district crews begin inspecting snow plows, calibrating salt-spreading equipment – trucks are tested to make sure spreaders distribute the correct amount – and developing snowstorm response procedures.

-- Throughout snow season, which runs from November to March, highway response teams across Kentucky serve weekly on-call rotations. The teams monitor weather reports when snow is in the forecast and determine when to activate District 9's arsenal of nearly 140 crew members and 77 snow plows.

-- When District 9 crews plow all their routes just once in a snowstorm, it's like driving non-stop from Lexington to Los Angeles!