The Richmond Register

Local News

March 4, 2014

State alters priorities as salt supplies diminish

Treatment ineffective at lower temps, local officials say

MADISON COUNTY — To conserve dwindling salt supplies in the wake of Monday’s winter storm, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has reordered its priorities of which roads to treat when snow and ice fall.

According to a KTC news release, interstate lanes will continue to get attention first, followed by the state’s parkways.

Other heavily traveled routes are third on the list and will be addressed on a county-by-county basis, the release stated.

While the state is shifting its priorities for salt treatments, county and city officials here say they have enough of a supply to get the job done. However, they are being careful with their supplies, regardless of how plentiful, they said Tuesday.

At the Feb. 25 fiscal court meeting, Judge/Executive Kent Clark said the road department has plenty of salt to last the rest of the winter. However, for this most recent storm, workers waited to disperse salt until the sun came out Tuesday, according to a department spokesperson.

While plows have been running since Monday, salt was not dispersed in the early hours of the storm because it is less effective in melting ice and snow when temperatures fall into the low teens and below as they did Monday and into Tuesday.

At the Feb. 25 Richmond City Commission meeting, City Manager Jimmy Howard said 300 tons of salt were available to the public works department, and another 400 tons were being shipped in to ensure the city had enough.

Sunday rains turned to sleet and then snow that night and Monday morning, resulting in a layer of almost an inch of ice topped by up to 8 inches of snow. While most streets and roads were plowed by Tuesday, a layer of ice and compacted snow remains in some areas. With temperatures warming, snow has begun to turn to slush in some areas, creating a potential sliding hazard.

Temperatures will continue to rise today, with a high of 47 degrees and more sunshine, according to the National Weather Service.

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