Mayor: 265-member Snow Team ready for winter weather - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Mayor: 265-member Snow Team ready for winter weather

Douglass Boulevard in the Highlands during a snowstorm in early 2014 (Source: Connie Leonard, WAVE 3 News) Douglass Boulevard in the Highlands during a snowstorm in early 2014 (Source: Connie Leonard, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Following record warmth earlier in the week, Mayor Greg Fischer declared Thursday that the 265-member Louisville Metro Snow Team is ready to battle winter weather.

During the annual Snow Ready news conference outside Papa John's cardinal Stadium, Fischer noted that Public Works spent about $1.65 million dollars to update its plowing fleet for this winter, and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) spent more than $152,000 on new vehicles Louisville will use on state roads within the city. That amounts to 17 new plowing vehicles among the 160 pieces of equipment the Snow Team will use to clear more than 2,700 miles of two-lane roads throughout the city's 386 square miles.

“This investment in new equipment means that when the dedicated men and women of the Snow Team are away from their homes at all hours of the day or night to make the roads safe for the rest of us, they’ll have the right tools to get the job done,” Fischer said.

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The mayor also introduced Brian Funk as the new Snow Team leader. Funk was appointed Public Works Assistant Director for Roads and Operations in September. He leads the team that also includes the Public Works Solid Waste Management Division, Metro Parks, the Department of Codes and Regulations, and the Division of Fleets and Facilities.

The mayor's office said Louisville will begin the snow season with 32,500 tons of salt on hand with a contract in place to order more salt if needed. Most of the salt will be stored underground at Louisville Mega Cavern on Taylor Avenue. About 13,500 tons will be distributed to four above ground locations, where it will be loaded onto salt-spreading vehicles when needed.

Fischer said the city will continue the practice of pretreating roads with brine ahead of snowfalls. Brine is a saltwater solution that reduces the adherence of snow and ice to pavement and reduces slick spots.

Snow removal progress can be followed via an interactive online map. During snow events, a link to the snow map will be posted on the city's website, Louisvilleky.gov, and the Department of Public Works site at louisvilleky.gov/publicworks. The latest updates will also be posted @LouPubWorks on Twitter.

City snow routes include arterial and collector roads, bus routes and roads to major employers and emergency facilities.  The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and private contractors clear about 600 miles in the city. About 1,000 miles of neighborhood streets are only cleared when a snow emergency has been officially declared.

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