Smaller Ky. road departments feeling strain of winter storms

As the fifth winter storm in just over a month takes aim at the Commonwealth, many smaller road crews across the region are feeling the impact.
Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 5:23 PM EST
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CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - As the fifth winter storm in just over a month takes aim at the Commonwealth, many smaller road crews across the region are feeling the impact.

For the Clark County Road Department, supervisor Allen Curtis says their 10-man crew has already invested over 1,100 hours with snow removal and even during dry weather there is still work to be done.

“We don’t have a backup crew, it’s them so, give them a two-hour break when you can and it’s mainly to check equipment, it’s not so much for rest, it’s to keep the stuff working,” Curtis said.

In a typical winter season, Allen estimates their road department uses between 500 and 600 tons of salt. This season has been like no other-- the estimate using upwards of almost 1,000 tons so far, and we have more winter weather to go.

“You have supply demand, and everybody is trying to get the same supply, it may be the next day, it may be the next week. There’s been years in the past where we’ve called them and it be a two week wait,” Curtis said.

But another factor they’re watching closely is the cost of it all. Already this winter season they’ve spent over $100,000 in supplies, gas, and to pay their crews, which is much more than average and could potentially impact other projects.

“It’s always in the back of your mind, of all the other projects that are out there, bridges, asphalt, and pothole work and things like that it’s a very tight rope,” Curtis said.

Curtis said their road crews typically work in 10-to-12-hour shifts, but the pandemic has also made that harder as they’ve had some members out during critical storm events.

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