City prepares for winter blast, what you need to know


by Gene Kang

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 6 at 7:31 PM

The road crews are getting ready, but the cold is making their job even more difficult.

The brine trucks have been hitting the streets around the clock.  TRIMARC has their eyes on all the major interstates and roadways in metro Louisville.

They say the arctic blast of cold air caused dozens of vehicles to break down since Monday.

Wednesday, streets are clear but it could be a mess Thursday morning.  Laura Macgregor and her baby are buckling down for a possible winter storm the first of 2010.

She's buying last minute supplies to fight off Mother Nature.  She said she, “got some salt and a shovel and some scrapers for my car."

Metro Louisville’s snow team started getting ready early.  They have already pre-treated 900 miles of area roads with a new ice proof brine mixture.

And the solution will stay on streets even in single digit temperatures.

"When the snow does start to fall that's really going to give a protective layer and kind of prevent that snow and ice from really binding to the pavement," said Lindsay English, Mayor's Office.

More salt trucks are at public works, waiting to hit the pavement.

They'll take action as soon as the white stuff comes down. 

Why wait? The city says the salt needs some snow to stick to or it could be blown away by the wind.

And the big question, who gets their roads cleared first?

Louisville Public Works will plow streets in this order:
 - Main roadways
 - TARC and school bus routes
 - Hospitals
 - High traffic secondary roads with hills
 - Areas around major businesses

English said, "Our crews are ready to go. They have their trucks kind of checking last minute checks to make sure everything is ready to roll."

TRIMARC workers have a bird's eye view of all the major interstates in metro Louisville.

They're the first to see a broken down car or accident and they say it only gets worse when snow covers the ground.

They warn drivers of notorious hot spots.

Jim Mallory of TRIMARC said, "spaghetti junction is a nightmare and I-65 seems to have its fare share."

Workers say the cold snap caused dozens of vehicles to break down on the side of the road this week.

If it's anything like years past, they're worried that slick conditions could make traffic a mess Thursday morning.

"Increase your following distance. If you leave early you're not in a hurry," said Mallory.

"It's going to be really cold and really windy but they're just going to have to keep pushing through and we're just going to be ready for whatever comes our way," said English.

Link: Check Snow Removal in Real Time

To receive the latest road and weather updates, you can contact the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) 24 hour Road and Weather information number at 800-261-ROAD (7623) or visit INDOT’s road and weather web page at

This site contains statewide road and weather conditions for all of Indiana and there is also a link to Cincinnati ARTIMIS and the Federal Highway Administration which has a link for national traffic and road closure information.