Road Crews preparing for Winter Weather Today.
January 4th, 2017
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to pre-treat highways across about the northern third of Highway District 2 starting Wednesday morning, January 4, 2017.
Crews will be gearing up to start pre-treating in the Ohio River border counties and a few selected others around 8 a.m., CST, on Wednesday, to prepare for an approching winter system that could drop up to an inch of snow across the district’s northernmost counties on Thursday.
The forecast indicates a threat of some accumulation of snow starting Thursday morning across the northern portion of the 11-county district. While the present forecast is only indicating up to about one inch of snow arriving on Thursday, crews will be pre-treating through the day on Wednesday in the northernmost counties. The long-range forecast also indicates a chance of snow Friday into Saturday.
The KYTC District 2 Snow & Ice Team anticipates crews will have time to complete pre-treatment of about half of the highways in the couinties where snow is expected to accumulate.
Motorists should be alert for slow moving brine trucks out and about on Wednesday as highway crews go about their pre-treating efforts. Appropriate caution is required anytime you encounter a brine truck.
Tanker trucks will be spraying brine that dries to leave a fine poweder of salt on the roadway driving surface. The powdered salt is then available to be immediately activated to help improve driving conditions in the early hours of a winter snow and ice event. It also serves to keep the snow and ice from bonding to the pavement, making it easier for plows to remove snow from the roadway once it accumulates.
Pre-treating has a fairly specific set of requirments. Kentucky Highway crews do not pre-treat if there is substantial rain in the forecast prior to the start of snow as the rain would wash away any benefits of the material. They also generally do not pre-treat when temperatures are below about 16 to 18 degrees fahrenheit as low temperatures would create an opportunity for the brine to flash freeze and create slick spots when it hits the road surface.
Kentucky was among a number of states that helped to pioneer pre-treating with brine as an inexpensive way to prepare in advance of approaching winter weather events. The process is now in wide use across the nation.
KYTC District 2 includes Christian, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Hancock, Daviess, Henderson, McLean, Hopkins, Caldwell, Webster, and Union Counties.