Priority routes and road conditions descriptions

MANCHESTER, Ky. (January 21, 2016)  – Since October, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) District 11 crews have been inspecting snow plows, calibrating salt-spreading equipment and developing snowstorm response procedures to keep District 11’s state roads passable during inclement weather.

Today’s tidbit – Priority routes and road conditions descriptions.

Priority Route Descriptions

  • Priority A: Interstates, parkways and major arteries 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 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. The cabinet’s goal is to treat Priority C routes within eight hours of the beginning of a routine snow event, and with an eight-hour turnaround time after that.

Road Condition Definitions

  • 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.

Throughout the 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 the state’s arsenal of snow-fighting equipment, including more than 1,000 snow plows.

Motorists are reminded to give a wide berth to plows, salt trucks and other snow-clearing heavy equipment. To be effective in dispersing de-icing material, trucks tend to travel at a slower speed. Also, snow plows may create a snow cloud which can cause a white out or zero visibility condition, so keep a safe distance away from the trucks.