OWENSBORO, Ky. (2/13/14) – With the forecast indicating a chance for up to 2 inches of snow across many of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 2 counties on Friday morning, highway crews are out pre-treating highways today.
Crews will be out spraying brine until about 7:00 p.m., this evening.
Motorists are advised to be alert for trucks and support vehicles involved in pre-treating efforts through the day.
Pre-treating activities will initially be directed at “A” and “B” Snow Priority Routes. If time allows, crews will attempt to pre-treat some “C” routes.
It normally takes about two full days to get all routes pre-treated.
For a map of Snow Priority Routes go to http://transportation.ky.gov/Maintenance/Pages/Snow-and-Ice-Priority-Maps.aspx.
Snow Priority maps are also available by going to the KYTC main page at www.transportation.ky.gov, look under maps and click on the Snow and Ice Priority Map link.
Pre-treating involves spraying brine on road surfaces where it dries. The resulting salt powder then remains dormant until it is activated by falling snow. The salt helps to keep roadways clear of snow and ice in the early hours of a winter weather event. It also keeps snow from sticking to the pavement surface, allowing the snow to be more easily plowed away after it accumulates.
The opportunity to pre-treat requires some pretty specific circumstances:
- Temperature above about 18 degrees Fahrenheit
- Less than ½ inch of rain in advance of the snow/ice event
- Ample advance forecast to allow crews to cover substantial road miles
KYTC engineers have been carefully monitoring salt supplies after a series of winter weather events and extreme cold have created a spike in salt usage this year.
KYTC District 2 spokesman Keith Todd says if this were a normal year the agency would be pretty pleased with current salt inventories. However, the extended cold with sometimes twice weekly snow and ice events has engineers looking at contingency plans for conserving salt.
After Friday’s snow event, the long-range forecast calls for daytime temps in the 40’s and even nearing the 50’s next week. That is expected to provide a break for embattled road crews and time for deliveries to help salt inventories to rebound.
Todd noted that District 2 has storage for 26,300 tons of salt.
About 11,000 tons are available with additional deliveries expected in the next few days. District 2 has been allocated about 2,000 tons of salt from the state’s central storage facility in Louisville.
KYTC District 2, headquartered in Madisonville, is responsible for about 3,300 miles of highway in 11 counties. Covering all state highways in the district during a snow and ice even is the equivalent of a trip from Miami, FL, to Seattle, WA. Crews may cover all highways in the district 2 or 3 times during a single winter weather event.
The district includes Caldwell, Webster, Union, Henderson, McLean, Hopkins, Christian, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Daviess and Hancock counties.Timely traffic advisories for the 11 counties of KYTC Highway District 2 are available by going to www.facebook.com/kytcdistrict2. You do not have to be a Facebook member to access this page.
Information provided by Keith Todd
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