KYTC to pre-treat roads before Thursday | Transportation
GRAVES COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews plan to pre-treat highways to prepare for the chance of freezing rain and sleet on Thursday morning.
The forecast is calling for a significant chance of sleet and freezing rain between about 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., CST, Thursday morning with temperatures going from mid-20’s around daybreak to mid to upper 30’s by noon, Thursday.
Highway crews will pre-treat roads Tuesday and Wednesday. Crews expect to be on the road spraying brine from about 8 a.m. until about dark each night.
Drivers are advised to be alert for slow moving trucks and escort vehicles as crews go about their work.
Pre-treating of roadways involves running water through salt in a brine generator. This produces a brine solution that is then sprayed on road surfaces. The water evaporates leaving a fine powder of salt that then becomes available to be activated in the early hours of a snow/ice event.
The salt improved driving conditions in the early hours of a snow and ice event and helps keep winter precipitation from bonding to the road surface making it easier to plow off after it accumulates.
Pre-treating requires a very specific set of weather conditions. Crews are unable to pre-treat if rain is expected ahead of a winter weather event because it would wash away the salt powder. Crews are also unable to pre-treat when temperatures are below about 22 degrees Fahrenheit because the brine could freeze as it is applied, creating a hazard for the driving public.
KYTC Highway District 1, headquartered in Paducah, is responsible for 2800 miles of highway in Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman, Fulton, Graves, McCracken, Livingston, Marshall, Calloway, Trigg. Lyon and Crittenden Counties.
Pre-treating all highways in the district is the equivalent of a trip from Washington, DC, to Seattle, WA, according to KYTC. Crews may travel all highways in the district multiple times during the course of one winter weather event.
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