Fast snow, multiple crashes clogged Bullitt roads

Crashes caused multiple closures along the highway.
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 3:33 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:19 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Road conditions in Bullitt County are much better than Thursday. Crashes caused multiple closures along the highway.

Those have been cleared and cleanup is still underway.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said its crews were ready and contractors were staged.

But the snow came down fast, and as we learned, once traffic gets snarled, road conditions get even worse.

“Every department that protects 65 was out there,” Zoneton Fire Chief Kevin Moulton said.

Crashes snarled I-65 throughout the area Thursday. WAVE saw one in the StormTracker. A sea of parked headlights backed up for miles.

“When I got on I was witnessing cars sliding off the roadway and cars passing me where I felt that was causing harm and danger not to themselves but others,” Moulton said.

He made the call to shut down I-65 southbound early in the day, to give his crews a safe chance to respond to a pileup and more slide offs.

“To start getting control of the traffic and slowing them down for everybody’s safety,” Moulton said.

Plows got to Moulton’s location. However, KYTC District 5 spokesman Jim Hannah said once crashes snarl traffic, plowing operations tend to get further behind.

“Traffic just quickly piles up behind and our crews, the snowplows, can’t get through to treat and plow the scene,” Hannah said.

WAVE saw plows sending up showers of sparks as they cleared northbound I-65. Bullitt County’s road department questioned if there were enough state resources.

“Thirteen plow drivers that are part of the state force, cabinet employees, and 11 contractors,” Hannah said.

The Bullitt County road director was out plowing and couldn’t talk to us on TV. But he said the state had 20 contractors in the past. And with as many crashes that occurred, they kept losing roads as slush turned to ice and plows couldn’t get past wrecks.

“It came down pretty fast on that section of I-65 in northern Bullitt County and I don’t think anybody was ahead of it,” Moulton said.

Bullitt County was able to get to more of their roads on the eastern side of the county after a semi blocking a state road was moved around lunchtime.

Roads that did get a plow were clear and drying off.

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