Louisville is battle ready for snow season

November 8, 2018

Joined by the 265 regular members of the Louisville Metro Snow Team, Mayor Greg Fischer declared today that the city is battle ready for winter 2018-19. Mayor Fischer also named dozens of Jefferson County Public School students as honorary members of the Snow Team.

The students -- from Medora, Fairdale, Johnsontown, Greenwood, Schaffner Traditional and Stonestreet elementary schools -- decorated six  snow plows that will be part of the Lots of Lights Parade during the Light Up Louisville celebration on Nov. 23. Three of the plows were displayed during today’s event in the Cardinal Stadium parking lot.

After the announcement, the Snow Team worked through a mock snow event that included driving all road treatment routes.

Mayor Fischer said, “With so much of our snow fighting effort aimed at trying to make sure children can get to school safely, it’s a pleasure to welcome these talented young people as honorary members of Louisville Snow Team 2018.”

JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said, “We appreciate the diligence and hard work of the Louisville Metro Snow Team in keeping roads safe and passable every winter. We depend on that commitment to ensure students and employees can get to and from school in inclement weather, limiting the number of days that students are away from the classroom.”

“I’m also proud of our students who used their artistic talents to show their appreciation in their own way -- Louisville’s streets will be both safer and more beautiful this year when the Snow Team is activated.”

The Snow Team is led by Metro Public Works under the leadership of Director Vanessa Burns and Assistant Director for Roads and Operations, Brian Funk. The Public Works Solid Waste Management Division, Metro Parks, the Department of Codes & Regulations, and the Division of Fleet and Facilities are also part of the team.

While the Louisville Metro Snow Team is focused on keeping things moving safely on the ground, Louisville International Airport has a team that’s focused on making sure people can get in and out of the city through the air. Special runway-width snow removal equipment used by the airport was on display today.

Louisville will begin the snow season this year with 34,800 tons of salt on hand. This will be the first full snow season using a new 6,700-ton salt dome that more than doubled the capacity of a 3,000-ton dome it replaced at the Public Works Central District Operations Center last December.

Most of the salt will be stored underground in Louisville Mega Cavern, 1841 Taylor Ave. About 15,550 tons are distributed to four above ground locations where the salt will be loaded onto spreading vehicles as needed. Total salt used in the 2017-18 snow season was 19,000 tons.

The city will also continue to pretreat 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.

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

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.