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Public Works & Assets Newsroom

City Nearing End of Winter Storm

Wednesday February 13, 2008


Public Works say main roads in good condition

Louisville Metro Public Works managers say the city’s main roads are in remarkably good shape following several days of snow and freezing rain.

“We’ve covered a tremendous amount of road over the past 72 hours,” said Ted Pullen, Metro Public Works director. “We’re very pleased with the condition of our major roads and streets. Our crews put in long hours under difficult conditions, and I’m proud of their efforts.”

Since the first snow began falling on Monday afternoon, crews have spread approxi-mately 4,000 tons of salt over 1,000 miles of city snow routes. Beginning at 8 p.m., crews will replenish salt supplies from city reserves stored at Louisville Underground.

“We are in no danger of running out of salt supplies,” Pullen said. “At the beginning of the season, we had about 19,000 tons stored above ground in our five salt domes around the city. We’ve used about 8,000 tons so far. We’re simply topping off those domes now so we won’t have to replenish supply during the next snow.”

The city stores 20,000 tons of salt at Louisville Underground, a large underground storage facility on Taylor Avenue. Excess supplies from years past are added to the stockpile since the salt doesn’t go bad or lose effectiveness over time.

Weather forecasts call for temperatures above freezing tomorrow, which should begin thawing subdivision and neighborhood streets that are not part of the city’s snow routes. Homeowners’ associations or neighborhood groups may use a private contractor to clear those streets.

“To cover the additional 1,000 miles of neighborhood streets, we’d have to double our workforce and equipment,” noted Pullen. “Plus, the narrow streets, lowered speeds and dead ends make neighborhoods extremely time-consuming. We must focus our efforts on major roads that carry high volumes of traffic.”

Many neighborhood streets may be covered in compacted ice, which cannot be plowed without damaging snow equipment. Pullen urged drivers to use caution in those areas.

“We’ve been fortunate that most drivers have been very careful on the roads during this storm,” said Pullen. “Take your time, drive slowly and allow plenty of extra stopping room.”

Storm Coverage by the Numbers:

· Four agencies have cooperated to clear city streets: Public Works, Metro Solid Waste Management, Metro Parks, and MSD.

· The city owns 129 pieces of snow equipment. Many pieces are interchangeable – for example, a brine truck can easily be outfitted with a salt spreader and a plow depending on need.

· Since the beginning of the snow season, the city has used approximately 8,000 tons of salt.

· At the beginning of the snow season, the city had 19,000 tons of salt in five salt domes throughout the city. Another 20,000 tons is in storage at Louisville Underground, giving the city a total of 39,000 tons of salt to fight snow this season.

· Since Monday, crews have salted and plowed more than 5,000 miles of city roads.

· From 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. today, MetroSafe reported the following traffic incidents:

o 46 non-injury accidents

o 14 injury accidents

o 35 stranded drivers

o 3 hit and runs