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Public Works & Assets Newsroom 

Mayor Reports Snow Team Ready to Roll

Tuesday November 14, 2006

Changes in Off Season Make Response More Efficient & Effective

Mayor Jerry Abramson today unveiled the 2006-2007 Louisville Metro Snow and Ice Removal Plan and announced that the city has purchased new equipment, reassigned routes and updated a virtual map that will make the snow-removal process more efficient and effective.

“We’ve made a lot of changes in the ‘off season’ that I know will make our snow-fighting team stronger and faster than ever before,” Abramson said. “Our men and women behind the plows are ready to keep traffic flowing, schools open, businesses operating and people safe when winter weather strikes.”

Abramson earmarked $1.3 million to purchase 28 new pieces of equipment to update the community’s snow-fighting fleet. The equipment includes six new brine distributors – bringing the city’s total to 10. The distributors attach to dump trucks and each hold 1,300 gallons of solution. The new equipment will allow crews to more than double the miles of road that are pretreated before a storm.

“If a storm is forecast, the brine distributors allow us to fight freezing roads before the temperature ever starts to drop,” said Abramson, adding the brine solution was effective last year, when the city first started pre-treating roads.

The city also purchased a new brine mixer this year. This means, for the first time, the city can manufacture its own pre-treatment solution. Last year, the trucks filled up with solution at a state facility in the far eastern side of Louisville. Now the city will produce the brine and store it in five strategic locations in the community. The new brine mixer creates 5,000 gallons of solution per hour.

“Our drivers can now spend more time pre-treating the roads instead of driving to a remote location to fill up the tanks,” said Deputy Mayor Rick Johnstone, snow and ice removal coordinator for Metro Government.

The Louisville Metro snow team – which includes Louisville Metro Public Works, Solid Waste Management Services, Metro Parks and the Metropolitan Sewer District - has 225 employees and 129 pieces of equipment to clear 1,047 miles of road in Louisville.

“After studying the routes, we realized there was a better way to assign our agencies to specific geographic areas that would allow trucks to spend virtually the entire time on their routes with plows down removing snow,” said Johnstone.

Online Snow-Route Map Enhanced
Operators of the "Snow Command" control room and citizens will 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. Last year the map was only updated every hour this year it will be updated in real time. You can go to the Snow Removal Center and view snow routes in your vicinity at any time of the year, just remember to input an 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 thoroughfares, 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