Officials concerned about black ice for morning commuters

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Crews spent all day Thursday pouring salt onto major thoroughfares, including I-64, I-264, I-71, and I-265. But beware: a road that looks clear could be covered in black ice.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Department, about 30 trucks, including contractors, poured salt in Middletown alone. Some trucks carried seven tons while others carried 10 tons of salt. On average, depending on the size of the truck, it took 2 to 5 hours before crews had to return to the compound and get more salt into their trucks.

"We will have crews in all evening through the overnight hours. [We will] definitely [have] crews through the morning commute. At that time, we'll reevaluate and see how long we need to keep crews around," Andrea Clifford with the Kentucky Transportation Department.

"In some of our rural counties, particularly up in Henry and Trimble where they got more snow, some of their lower volume roads - what they call 'C routes - may not have been plowed yet because we've been focusing on our As and Bs," Clifford said. "Those are the major routes, the interstates and the main thoroughfares.

Clifford says the next concern was the potential for the snow/slush on the roads to refreeze.

"We will go along and plow, push back slush on the shoulders, trying to get it off the shoulders and into the drainage system," Clifford said.

As temperatures plummeted into the teens overnight, Clifford told us crews would switch from pouring salt to liquid Calcium Chloride. It's sprayed on top of the salt and works in freezing temps. She said it does not mean there will not be any slick spots on the roads Thursday night or Friday morning when people are driving to work.

"Don't get the false sense of security that 'oh, the roadway looks clear, it looks just wet.' There will be some slick spots found throughout the overnight hours and we'll just have to keep working at them to try to eliminate as many as possible."

Whether you will be driving on main interstates or downtown, officials urge you to take your time.

"The side roads we don't get to, and we don't treat those, so we just ask that you're extra careful until you get out onto the main roads or make arrangements to have those roads cleared for yourself," said Lindsay English, a spokesperson for the mayor's office.

Before you get on the road, call 511 to check on road conditions.

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