State 'snowfighters' in northeast Kentucky ready to fight winter weather
Salt stocked, equipment prepared; see SnowKY.ky.gov for details
FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (Nov. 7, 2019) – With salt stockpiled and snow plows prepped, Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 crews are ready for winter weather duty.
Equipment checks and salt orders started earlier this summer. In October, crew rosters and other preparations were completed. Then, on Nov. 1, on-call supervisory teams began weekly winter weather duty rotations.
Now, across Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and Rowan counties, more than 175 professional "snowfighters" now need only a moment's notice to clear highways using the district's 75 snow plows, and 20,000-plus tons of salt.
"Snow removal is a top priority of the Transportation Cabinet during winter weather season," said Steve Gunnell, chief district engineer. "And our highway crews are always well prepared to keep motorists moving on Kentucky roadways.
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 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 or roads 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 Cabinet's snow and ice information website, SnowKY.ky.gov, provides maps of those priority routes, as well as helpful winter driving tips, fact sheets and videos on salt application and snow removal.
In addition, the public can monitor Transportation Cabinet 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.
Statewide, nearly 2,000 men and women serve on the frontlines and behind the scenes of the Cabinet's snow and ice removal efforts. The Cabinet is equipped with several hundred thousand tons of salt, as well as adequate supplies of brine and calcium chloride, and more than 1,000 deployable trucks and plows among the 125 snow and ice maintenance locations. More than 400 more contracted trucks are available to assist in snow and ice operations.
KYTC encourages motorists to prepare for winter and remain safe by following these tips:
- Pay attention to weather advisories. Weather will impact travel on some level, so prepare for a slower commute.
- 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.
- Winterize vehicles.
- Stock vehicles with blankets, flash light and an emergency supply kit.
- Know before you go. Visit goky.ky.gov and download the free Waze app to check traffic conditions before you travel.
- Eliminate distractions (e.g. using 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.
HIGHWAY DISTRICT 9 SNOW REMOVAL PRIORITY ROUTES
Snow removal efforts start with Priority A routes and proceed to B and C routes as quickly as storm intensity allows. During major storms, it could be several hours before lower-priority routes are plowed, so know your route and plan travel accordingly. Individual county priority maps are available for download through SnowKY.ky.gov.
Bath County: Priority A routes include I-64, US 60, KY 11 and portions of KY 36 at Owingsville and near the Nicholas County line. Priority B routes are KY 36, KY 111, KY 211 south of Salt Lick, KY 965 between US 60 and KY 36 and in the Preston area, and KY 1325. All other routes are Priority C.
Boyd County: Priority A routes include I-64, US 60, US 23 and portions of KY 180 and KY 67, and the Ashland and Kenova bridges. Priority B routes are KY 3, KY 5, KY 168, KY 538, KY 716, KY 766, KY 1134, KY 1012, KY 1458, KY 2535, KY 3293, KY 3294, KY 3292, KY 3291 and portions of KY 854. Other routes, including a portion of KY 3 south, are Priority C.
Carter County: Priority A routes include I-64, US 60, KY 9 (AA Highway), KY 1 north of Grayson, KY 7, KY 2 at Olive Hill and KY 67. Priority B routes include remaining sections of KY 1, KY 7 at Carter City, KY 2, KY 59, KY 174, KY 182 and KY 1947. Other routes are Priority C.
Elliott County: Priority A routes include KY 7, KY 173 and a portion of KY 32 through and east of Sandy Hook. Priority B routes are KY 32 from Rowan County to Newfoundland, KY 486, KY 702, and KY 504. Other routes are Priority C.
Fleming County: Priority A routes include US 68, KY 11, KY 32, KY 57 north of Flemingsburg, the Flemingsburg Bypass, and KY 165. Priority B routes are KY 32 downtown Flemingsburg, the rest of KY 57, KY 170, KY 111, KY 559, and portions of KY 344 and KY 158. Other routes are Priority C.
Greenup County: Priority A routes include US 23, KY 1, KY 8, KY 10 (AA Highway), KY 67, KY 827, KY 693, the northern half of KY 7 and a portion of KY 207. Priority B routes are KY 2, KY 7, KY 207 east of KY 1, KY 503, KY 244, KY 2433, KY 1458, KY 2541, KY 410 and KY 3105. Other routes are Priority C.
Lewis County: Priority A routes include KY 9/10 (AA Highway), KY 59 and KY 8 east of Vanceburg. Priority B routes are KY 57, KY 10 through Tollesboro, KY 344, KY 559, KY 377 and KY 3020. Other routes are Priority C.
Mason County: Priority A routes include US 68, US 62 at Maysville, KY 8, KY 9 (AA Highway), KY 10 (at Germantown and Maysville), KY 11, and KY 2513. Priority B routes are US 62, KY 10, KY 324, KY 1448, KY 1449, KY 3056 and KY 3170. Other routes are Priority C.
Nicholas County: Priority A routes include US 68, KY 36 and KY 32 at and east of Carlisle and KY 1455. Priority B routes are KY 13 and KY 32 west. Other routes are Priority C.
Rowan County: Priority A routes include I-64, US 60, KY 519, KY 32 from the Fleming County line to near Elliottville and KY 173. Priority B routes are KY 32 east of Elliottville, KY 174, KY 377, KY 801, KY 158 and KY 1274. Other routes are Priority C.