Lexington Streets and Roads Department prepares for winter season amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Lexington Streets and Roads Department director said they are prepared for the winter...
The Lexington Streets and Roads Department director said they are prepared for the winter season, but COVID-19 poses new threats.(WKYT)
Published: Nov. 29, 2020 at 9:12 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - With the first chance of winter weather this season in the forecast, Lexington Streets and Roads Department is ready to roll out the salt trucks.

“We’ll probably be out putting some stuff down on bridges, hills, and overpasses,” Director Rob Allen said.

Several mild winters and a new salt barn finished just last year has the city well prepared for anything Mother Nature has in store for winter.

“We have salt in both barns, we have enough to last us through several storms, so we feel good about that,” Allen said. “We’ve had crews out several days practicing the routes and making sure the equipment works and we feel like we’re ready.”

This year, it’s the unpredictability of COVID-19 that could add some different roadblocks.

“We’re just really trying to keep our folks safe and healthy and isolated,” Allen said.

The department has taken new precautions, including closing the campus to ride alongs and cutting down contact with workers between barns. It also has a plan in place in case crew members are quarantined before a big winter threat.

“We have an assistance agreement with the state department of transportation,” Allen said. “If there’s a problem with either agency, we will help each other complete the snow routes.”

But, the department’s message for drivers this season remains the same.

“Every year with the first snowstorm, we have a huge increase in wrecks, 99 percent of them are speed-related,” Allen said. “If you have to be out there doing an essential trip, back off your speed ten or fifteen miles from the posted speed limit.”

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