A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lexington preparing for forecasted winter weather; drivers urged to use caution during a.m. commute

With a rain/snow mix expected in the evening hours combined with temperatures expected below freezing, the City is urging drivers to use extra caution on their morning commute. The City will be responding to calls for emergency treatment on roadways, bridges, hills and overpasses to ensure safe travel.

As winter weather approaches, the City of Lexington is prepared. “Kentucky weather is oftentimes unpredictable which is why we begin our snow preparations in the summer,” said Rob Allen, Director of Streets and Roads. “Organizational meetings are held internally and with partners such as Lextran, the University of Kentucky, Transylvania University and Fayette County Public Schools. Our goal is to ensure we are utilizing our combined resources efficiently and effectively for our residents.”

In preparation of winter weather, the City has also provided training for new employees on equipment, operation and routes. They have installed and checked equipment such as salt spreaders and snow plows.

Snow and ice removal in Fayette County is a joint effort between the City of Lexington and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The City divisions of Streets & Roads and Water Quality are responsible for snow and ice removal for approximately 1,400 lane miles of city and county roads. The state is responsible for plowing more than 800 lane miles of federal, state and county roads.

The City has approximately 4,250 gallons of salt brine, 5,000 tons of rock salt (sodium chloride) and some 4,000 gallons of proprietary chemical additive on hand. Pre-treating the roads with salt brine, salt or a mixture of salt and chemical de-icing additives it the first step in preparing for a new event.

New this year is the addition of a new salt barn which is located next to the city’s West Hickman Wastewater Treatment Plant. This new structure measures 80 feet by 152 feet and is capable of holding approximately 7,000 tons of salt. “The addition of this new facility will allow our trucks to get reloaded with salt much quicker,” said Allen. “It basically allows us to split the city in half decreasing our driving time and allowing us to service areas more quickly.”

How to stay informed during the winter season

Website: Get the most up-to-date information about the measures the City is taking to ensure the wellness and safety of our residents at lexingtonky.gov. You can also view the snow and ice control plan with street and sidewalk rankings.

Social media: Get information on accidents, lane blockages, snow-and-ice trouble spots and road closures through the City’s Twitter accounts at @lexwrecks and @lexkypolice. General information, including, emergency and time-sensitive information, is available on the City’s Facebook account.

Traffic cameras: Traffic at major intersections can be viewed in real time through the city’s traffic cameras at lexingtonky.gov/traffic.

Emergency Weather Plan

The Office of Homelessness Prevention & Intervention Emergency Weather Plan has been activated and remains in effect through the morning of Sunday, Nov. 17. The plan includes expanded shelter services and free transportation to shelters. For a list of all available shelters and transportation services, as well as other resources, visit uwbg211.org.

From City of Lexington

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