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KDOT Set to battle elements of winter weather


Nov. 18, 2005 (05-228)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:   Stan Whitley, (785) 296-3585

KDOT set to battle elements of winter weather

It’s an annual ritual for the Kansas Department of Transportation. The battle between Mother Nature’s wintry elements and protecting motorists throughout the state.

Equipped with manpower and technological advancements, Secretary Deb Miller said KDOT is ready for the challenge.

“The public should be assured that roadway maintenance during adverse roadway conditions is a top priority for the Kansas Department of Transportation,” said Secretary Miller. “We will continue to invest our time and resources to clear roadways providing service 24 hours per day when needed.”

KDOT is responsible for maintaining almost 10,000 miles of roadway on the State Highway System, which consists of Interstate, Kansas and U.S. routes. Technology and roadway pre-treating materials will help the agency stay ahead of potential storms.

Miller said a computer road weather information system used by KDOT provides pavement-specific weather forecasts, current temperature and condition of the pavement, as well as radar and satellite imagery. Supervisors in the field use forecasts and other weather tools to anticipate and avoid problems and deploy maintenance personnel as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Also, many KDOT maintenance vehicles are equipped with infrared pavement temperature sensors, which allow workers to monitor pavement conditions while they are on the road.

KDOT has routinely used salt brine on its roadways for snow and ice control since 1998. Salt brine is cost effective and can be applied during normal working hours before a storm hits and can stay on the road several days. It is a liquid made from granulated rock salt that is sprayed on pavement, before winter storms hit or in the early stages of a storm.

Salt brine sticks to the pavement and cannot be blown off by wind or traffic. This helps prevent the bond between snow and the pavement.

"We encourage motorists to be prepared before they hit the road by obtaining winter road condition information offered by KDOT," said Secretary Miller. "This technology is invaluable in travel planning and can easily be accessed by either the phone or Internet."

By calling "511" on any phone (wireline or wireless) within the state of Kansas, travelers can get near real-time, route-specific road condition, weather and road closure information 24 hours per day. Callers outside the state or anyone having difficulty connecting to 511 can call 1-866-511-KDOT to access Kansas 511.

Road condition information is available on the internet at 511.ksdot.org and it can also be accessed through KDOT's main web site www.ksdot.org under "Road Conditions."

If you are traveling and need motorist assistance, use your cellular phone and call *582 for assistance on the Kansas Turnpike Authority and *47 for assistance on all other highway routes.

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