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Metro Newsroom

Mayor: Louisville Ready for Winter Weather

Thursday October 30, 2008

New anti-icing additive to protect roads at lower temperatures

Mayor Jerry Abramson today announced the city has added new ways to keep roads clear and prevent potholes as part of Louisville’s snow-removal response – making it more efficient and effective.

“When winter weather threatens our city, keeping people safe on our roads is our top priority,” Abramson said. “It’s important that we keep our city moving – students need to be in school and workers need to be on the job. These new tools will help ensure we fight snow quickly and effectively.”

The Louisville Metro snow team – which includes Louisville Metro Public Works, Solid Waste Management Services, Metro Parks and the Metropolitan Sewer District - has 257 employees and 135 pieces of equipment to clear 1,047 miles of road in Louisville.

The snow team has added new snow fighting and pothole prevention tools; they will continue successful practices like the overnight shift and the interactive snow route maps.

  • For the first time, the Snow Team will start use an anti-icing additive that will make brine even more effective at lower temperatures. IceProof is a solution of magnesium chloride and distilled liquor byproduct that will allow crews to apply brine to roads even when the temperature drops to single digits. In the past, brine was used as a preventive agent only when the road temperature was above freezing. This additive will expand the opportunity to protect roads before a snow event.
  • This season, the Public Works Department will begin sealing pavement cracks throughout the winter to prevent potholes from forming later. The department purchased two new sealant distributors just for this purpose. Sealing cracks in roads during the winter will prevent ice from forming and further widening the cracks, which creates potholes. 
  • The Public Works Department will continue its night shift for snow operations and pothole repairs. This is the second year for an overnight shift, which allows workers to begin treating roads as soon as snow is forecast. On evenings without snow and ice, crews will repair potholes – that means fewer repairs during heavy drive times. Last year, the city saved $72,000 in overtime costs thanks to the night shift.
  • Operators of the “Snow Command” control room and citizens will once again have a progress map at their fingertips that will allow coordinators to track crews’ work as they fan out across the community. Drivers will radio into the control room when a route is complete, “Snow Command” will enter the information into a computer and the route will change colors to indicate it has been salted or plowed. The map is updated in real time.

Residents also may log on to at any time to view the Louisville Metro Government snow routes. Click on the “My Louisville” section of the website and type in a ZIP code and address.

The city is responsible for clearing about one-third of the 3,000 miles of roadway in the county. City snow routes are major roads, school and TARC bus routes, arteries to local employers and hospital and emergency routes. The state and private contractors clear about 1,000 miles and the remaining 1,000 miles are neighborhood streets that are not cleared.

“We want residents to understand that our priorities are clearing roads that keep schools in session, major businesses operating and critical emergency services functioning in Louisville,” said Abramson.

For more information about the snow plan call MetroCall at 311 or log on to