Breaking News
More () »

Road crews on 'high alert' to keep Kentuckians safe on the road this winter

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has stockpiled over 300,000 tons of salt and 1 million gallons of brine for anti-icing efforts.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Temperatures are dropping, an early sign that winter is just around the corner, and nearly 2,100 Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) crew members are gearing up for the incoming snow and ice.

"As we round out the final months of the year, state road crews are on high alert to serve Kentuckians when winter weather inevitably appears," Governor Andy Beshear said. 

Kentucky has more than 1,300 state-owned plow trucks and eight tow plows scattered across the state ready to go when inclement weather arrives.

Two of the tow plows, which can clear two lanes of road at once, will be based in Frankfort as part of a strike force that can be dispatched to lend support to crews in different regions when needed.

RELATED: Louisville Mayor outlines city's plans for winter season

“While the severity and frequency of weather events stands to be unknown," KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said. "We are doing our best with the resources we have to keep critical state routes passable so citizens and commerce can keep moving.”

Gray said the cabinet has stockpiled over 300,000 tons of salt, 1 million gallons of brine for anti-icing efforts, and 875,000 gallons of calcium chloride, an additive to salt for deicing.

KYTC maintains most roads, streets and bridges that are part of the State Highway System. When winter weather hits, the cabinet uses a three-tier system to prioritize treatment and snow clearing on state-maintained routes.

Routes, which can be seen online during winter weather events, are chosen based on factors like traffic volume and connectivity to critical services, like hospitals.

RELATED: Events around Louisville to get you in the holiday spirit

KYTC released these tips for drivers to "Keep Kentucky Moving Safely" during winter weather:

  • Travel only as necessary during major snow events.
  • Stock vehicles with ice scrapers, jumper cables, blankets, a flashlight, cell phone charger, non-perishable snacks and a first aid kit should you get stranded on the road.
  • Winterize your vehicle. Have all the main car components checked and make sure things like your heater, defroster, headlights and windshield wipers, work properly.
  • Drive slow when there's snow or ice on the road. It takes more time and distance to stop your vehicle in poor weather conditions, so brake early and slowly.
  • Pay attention to weather advisories and allow more time to travel for routine commutes.
  • Maintain a safe distance from snowplows and other heavy highway equipment. Do not pass snowplows on the shoulder.
  • Always check traffic conditions before you travel.
  • Eliminate distractions while driving (i.e. using your cell phone or eating while you drive.)

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.