Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Crews Prepping For First Snow of New Year

Fort Thomas crews were preparing roads today. FTM file. 
Fort Thomas officials and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 6 snow and ice removal crews have spent the day pretreating interstates and state roadways in the Northern Kentucky area with salt brine preparing for the first winter event of 2017.

State crews will have their trucks loaded tonight and state crews and contractors in the District 6 counties of Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Owen and Grant will report in at 5 a.m.  The remaining District 6 crews in Bracken, Robertson, Harrison and Pendleton County will report in at 7:30 a.m.  Currently weather reports are forecasting that 1 – 3 inches of snow could fall late tomorrow morning.  D 6 Snowfighters will be in and ready to go ahead of the storm.

Maintenance crews in KYTC District 6 have responsibility for clearing over 2,000 miles of state-maintained highways in the counties of Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Kenton, Owen, Pendleton and Robertson. That equates to 4,670   “lane miles” – all driving lanes from rural state roads to interstate highways.  District 6 state maintenance crews are prepared to work to keep roads in the best possible condition during winter weather.

Currently District 6 has over 28,000 tons of salt on hand.  District 6 starts out with 31,350 tons of salt each winter season stored in the domes located at the state maintenance facilities.  There are 139 trucks available to treat state highways and interstates.

In the northern Kentucky counties of Boone, Kenton and Campbell, District 6 is responsible for 1,871 lane miles of roadway. Crews start each winter season with 16,500 tons of salt and over 26,000 gallons of brine for de-icing in the three counties. Seventy-six trucks are available for snow and ice removal – three of which will concentrate on the six-mile section of I-75 between Buttermilk Pike and the Brent Spence Bridge that includes the “Cut in the Hill.”

Every snow storm is different and presents unique challenges, such as air temperature, pavement temperature, timing of snowfall and ice. Last year District 6 crews used over 33,429 tons of salt, approximately 95,943 gallons of salt brine and 48,305 gallons of liquid chloride for snow and ice events. In all, District 6 spent $5.1 million on equipment, materials and labor.

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From Fort Thomas Matters media partner, WCPO:

The National Weather Service has put the entire Tri-State under a Winter Weather Advisory.

Snowfall totals: Accumulations of 2-3 inches with isolated totals around 4 inches are possible. The higher snowfall totals will likely effect counties well south of the Ohio River. 

Timing: Isolated snow showers may develop as early as 7 a.m. but the widespread snow showers will move in after 9 a.m., and continue through the evening. Snow showers taper after 8 p.m. and move out of the area after midnight.

Impact: Expect some slippery roads, especially on secondary roads that may not be slower to receive treatment. In addition, travel delays, school delays and or early closings.

Snow moves out late Thursday night and by Friday sunshine returns to the Tri-State. It will be a cold day with highs only in the lower 20. Overnight lows will range from single digits to teens.

The arctic air stays in the place through the weekend with highs in the 20s and dry conditions.

The following measures will help keep motorists safe and prepared:

·         Put yourself in emergency mode

·         Pay attention to weather advisories. Weather will impact your commute on some level

·         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

·         Allow time for a slower commute

·         Winterize vehicles

·         Supply 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. operating 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

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