Crews ready for snow’s return

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

Several days of bad weather and icy roads have not depleted the county road department’s resources to make travel safe for residents.

A little more than half of the department’s 3,000 tons of salt, sand and cinder mix remains, said Steve Tatum, Grant County Road Department supervisor.

In addition, Tatum said he just received a new supply of straight salt for a total of about 300 tons.

Regardless of any future snowfall or slick conditions, the road department should have no problem meeting the need to treat the roads with a seven-truck crew, said Tatum.

“We have plenty of all of it,” he said. “We don’t pretreat any roads because I don’t think it does any good. Usually, when the snow starts, I’ll look at the radar and see where the back edge of it is. We’ll start when it’s about an hour from being over.”

Areas with bad hills, including ones on Dry Ridge-Mt. Zion Road and Sherman-Newtown Road, usually are in the worst condition when inclement weather hits, according to Tatum, so the crews try to treat those quickly.

“It’s been good,” Tatum said about getting the roads treated without a hitch. “We’ve kept the roads pretty clean. It just takes time. It usually takes 10 hours to get over all of them, unless we have to plow, then it takes a little longer.”

Even with snow-covered roads, there has not appeared to have been any serious accidents related to weather conditions in the area.
The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety recently released that there were no highway fatalities in the counties, including Grant, that make District 6 of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Out of the 12 districts that make up the KTC, District 6 was the only one that had did not have a highway fatality.
There were however about 50 cars that either slid off the side of Hwy. 22 at the bottom of Delia Hill or were stranded on the side of the road due to the icy, slick conditions on Feb. 1.

Grant County Sheriff Chuck Dills said the vehicles were stuck for over an hour until the highway department was able to put salt on the hill.
Maintenance crews in KYTC District 6 have responsibility for clearing 2,000 miles of state-maintained highways in the counties of Grant, Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Harrison, Kenton, Owen, Pendleton and Robertson.

That equates to more than 4,500 “lane miles” – all driving lanes from rural state roads to interstate highways.
District 6 currently has 19,000 tons of salt on hand in its storage domes located at the state maintenance facilities and 100 state and contracted trucks are available.

The inclement weather also has given students some time off from class.
After missing Friday, Feb. 1 and Monday, Feb. 4, Grant County Schools are up to a total of five missed days on the school year.
Four of those missed days were due to snow and road conditions while one was because of power outages.

May 21 is now the last expected day for students, barring anymore missed days.
Williamstown Independent has only had two missed days and will now close May 24 for students.