KYTC Crews Pre-Treating Roadways to Prepare for the Light Snow Event

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Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

 LOUISVILLE – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) road crews in Louisville and the surrounding counties will be pre-treating hills and bridges today for a light snow that is expected to fall during the overnight hours.  Motorists should be alert for slow moving trucks spraying brine throughout the day.

The pre-treatment of "salt-brine" gives KYTC crews a head start on the winter weather.  The brine dries on pavement surfaces leaving a thin, powdery layer of salt that will activate when precipitation begins to fall.  The salt-water type treatment also keeps snow from bonding to the pavement surface making it easier to plow away as it accumulates.

As the pre-treating work continues today, KYTC District 5 staff will be evaluating an appropriate response level for the evening hours based on changes in the forecast and road surface conditions as the winter precipitation develops.

District 5 personnel have the responsibility for clearing more than 3,500 single lane miles of state-maintained highways in the counties of Bullitt, Franklin, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble.  Crews are prepared to work long hours treating area roadways. 157 state and contract trucks are utilized to salt and plow the roadways in these eight counties with 68 of these trucks concentrated on the interstates in Jefferson County.  Per an agreement with Louisville Metro government, the Metro Department of Public Works will be clearing snow and ice from all state routes in Jefferson County, excluding interstates.

To view the priority network for snow removal by county, go to http://transportation.ky.gov/Maintenance/Pages/Snow-and-Ice-Priority-Maps.aspx.

The District 5 facilities combined have approximately 34,000 tons of salt, 134,000 gallons of liquid calcium chloride and 88,000 gallons of salt brine on hand to combat snow and ice this winter.  District 5 has the equipment to produce more brine in order to replenish supplies.

As KYTC crews have made preparations for clearing roadways, motorists should also be prepared for driving in snow and ice by following these tips:

  • Make sure your vehicle is sufficiently winterized – check the battery, antifreeze level, heater, defroster, wipers and windshield washer. Check the forecast and call 511 or visit 511.ky.gov for the latest condition reports before traveling. You can also get traffic information for the District 5 counties at www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict5.  Avoid nonessential travel if conditions are dangerous.
  • Dress warmly for the weather –in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, in anticipation of unexpected emergencies.
  • Try to keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent fuel line freezing and to prepare for possible lengthy delays on the roadway.
  • Make sure a friend or relative is aware of your travel route.
  • Carry a cell phone.
  • Make sure your vehicle has an emergency care kit. It should include jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, an ice scraper, blankets, nonperishable food, a first aid kit, and traction material.
  • Drive carefully. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Do not use cruise control.
  • Give a wide berth to snow removal equipment. 
  • Remember that bridges and exit and entrance ramps can be icy when other areas are not.
  • Stopping in snow requires more braking distance than stopping on dry pavement – up to four times more distance. Make sure to put plenty of distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead.
  • Be visible. Dull, cloudy days will cut down on visibility, so drive using low-beam headlights.
  • Steer into the 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.


Condition reports on major routes are available by calling 511 or logging onto the 511 travel and traffic information website at www.511.ky.gov.  Road conditions are described in the following manner:


Wet Pavement – The roadway is wet. Ice could form as temperatures drop.


Partly Covered – The roadway is partly covered with snow, slush or ice.  Markings may be obscured.


Mostly Covered – The roadway is mostly covered with snow, slush or ice. Roadway markers may be difficult to see because of packed snow and rutting conditions.


Completely Covered – The roadway is completely covered with snow, slush or ice and markings are obscured.


Impassable – Roadway conditions are not suitable for travel unless required by an emergency.