Transportation crews pretreat roads in advance of weekend wintry weather

Brine application to assist with snow removal efforts ahead of predicted snow

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) crews across the Commonwealth are pretreating roads today in advance of expected snow and freezing rain forecasted in parts of the state beginning Friday evening.

“Our crews are proactively treating roads with brine to reduce travel impacts due to anticipated wintry weather,” said KYTC Deputy Secretary Paul Looney. “District staff are keeping an eye to changing weather and road conditions and are ready to respond, as necessary, to maintain mobility and safety on state-maintained routes.”

Pretreatment efforts began in some counties on Thursday. Applying brine, or saltwater, leaves lines of salt crystals on the roadway surface that mix with snow to prevent it from bonding with the pavement. Brine can help plow crews more easily remove snow from roads during the first hours of a winter storm.

Motorists should watch for slow-moving spray vehicles and other trucks applying brine to both main and secondary state highways, and avoid following spray trucks too closely. If travel is necessary, motorists are advised to slow down to avoid potentially slick road conditions, especially when approaching bridges that tend to freeze before roadways.

Safety is a shared responsibility, especially during inclement weather when road conditions change. KYTC encourages motorists to prepare for winter and remain safe by following these tips:

  • Stock vehicles with ice scrapers, jumper cables, blankets, a flashlight, cell phone charger, non-perishable snacks and first aid kit.
  • Winterize vehicles. Have your car battery, tire pressure and brakes checked. Make sure your heater, defroster, headlights and windshield wipers are working properly.
  • When snow and/or ice are on roadways, drive slowly no matter what type of vehicle you’re in. It takes more time and distance to stop your vehicle in adverse weather conditions, so break early and slowly.
  • Pay attention to weather advisories. Weather will impact your commute on some level.
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shaded areas. These are all candidates for developing black ice—a thin coating of clear ice that can form on the pavement surface that may be difficult to see.
  • Travel only as necessary during major snow events. It’s better to be stranded at home than on the road.
  • Maintain a safe distance from snowplows and other heavy highway equipment.
  • Do not pass snowplows on the shoulder.
  • Allow more time to travel for routine commutes.
  • Know before you go. Download the free Waze app or visit goky.ky.gov to check traffic conditions before you travel.
  • Eliminate distractions while driving (e.g. using phone and eating).
  • 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.

You can learn more about snow removal efforts, including maps of snow removal priority routes for each county, by visiting the Transportation Cabinet’s online snow page at http://SnowKY.ky.gov. Real-time Kentucky traffic and travel information is available online at http://GoKY.ky.gov or by using the WAZE app.

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