KENTUCKY — Snowfighters have been deployed in a few sections of the commonwealth today as the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) hopes to get a jump on the upcoming snow front.
Kentucky’s forecast includes a squall-like system moving in through western Kentucky and spreading east throughout the evening, although less than 1 inch of accumulation is expected over most of the state.
Crews have been focused on treating problem areas on bridges known as slick spots, and pretreating major roadways so snow and ice don’t stick as easily.
“Keeping roadways as safe as possible is one of the most important roles of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and that is never more important than in snow and ice season,” said Gov. Andy Beshear in a press release.
KYTC can regularly call on nearly 2,000 frontline crewmembers to maintain safe travel on state routes — a mission complicated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
“Snow and ice preparations begin long before the winter months and this year has been unique with a health crisis in play,” Transportation Secretary Jim Gray wrote. “We’ve done our best to see around the corner by planning how to keep our work crews as protected as possible from COVID, and also how to adapt plans to cover for crews that suddenly have to be taken out of rotation because of COVID.”
KYTC snowfighters train for months each year, stocking up on salt and road treatment supplies and preparing the 1,024 plow trucks for service. This year, the cabinet’s proactive planning had to take into account the COVID-19 pandemic, which to date has killed more than 3,000 Kentuckians.
“We ask Kentuckians to partner with us by paying attention to weather advisories, limiting trips during poor weather conditions, and showing our crews grace as we make necessary adjustments brought on by the pandemic. This is uncharted territory and we will get through this together,” Gray wrote.
All crews are expected to follow Kentucky’s healthy at work guidelines and maintenance facilities are closed to the public to minimize exposure.
KYTC maintains the majority of roads, streets, and bridges that are part of the State Highway System. Examples include interstates, parkways and U.S. route designations.