Some crews able to begin clearing secondary routes
FRANKFORT, Ky.– On Day 2 of a winter storm that left the Commonwealth in deep snow and a deep freeze, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet road crews continued plowing to keep interstates and other main routes open.
Crews in some areas were able to launch into cleanup work – clearing intersections, turn lanes and crossovers – and begin tending to secondary routes.
Gov. Steve Beshear on Monday declared a statewide emergency because of the storm, which blanketed the Bluegrass State with up to a foot of snow. It fell at such a rate that plowed roadways quickly became covered again.
A break in the snowfall today is helping crews get a leg up on main routes. But the National Weather Service today issued special weather statements warning of a second, light round of snow late today and tonight, mainly in western Kentucky, and slick conditions virtually everywhere.
The Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) can deploy 1,000 snow plows and 385 contractors with plows, but has responsibility for 63,000 lane miles of roadway. Some districts supplemented the plow fleet with road graders.
The cabinet also deployed 17 SAFE Patrol trucks – Safety Assistance for Freeway Emergencies – whose drivers are trained to render emergency assistance. SAFE Patrol units operate along interstate routes, parkways, U.S. 23 and KY 80.
“It has been a major challenge to keep our interstates and other main routes passable,” Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said.
If travel cannot be avoided, motorists are advised to slow down, buckle up, rid themselves of distractions such as cell phones and keep extra distance – at least 500 feet – between themselves and other vehicles.
Snow removal efforts have been focused on the interstates and other major routes. Secondary and rural roads will be salted and plowed once main routes have been cleared. To view the priority network for snow removal, go to http://transportation.ky.gov/Maintenance/Pages/Snow-and-Ice-Priority-Maps.aspx and select a county.
Keep up with KYTC news via Twitter, http://twitter.com/kytc, and Facebook, http://facebook.com/kytc120. Traffic and travel assistance is at http://511.ky.gov or by dialing 511.