Prepare For Winter Weather: Snow Routes & Driving Tips

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In anticipation of winter weather, the City of Covington would like to remind businesses and residents of the procedure for snow and ice removal. The Department of Public Improvements (DPI) works hard to keep the streets safe during ice and snow emergencies.

In order to be efficient in snow plowing efforts, DPI divides the city into 14 different plow routes. These routes are designed to overlap in some areas to provide additional coverage.

The city categorizes streets by "Priority Level"

High Priority" Streets are typically major arterial and collector streets, or those abutting schools or hospitals. These streets are plowed within 6 hours from the first call out.

"Medium Priority" Streets are minor collector streets, typically serving a single subdivision, or cul-de-sac streets. These are plowed within 8 hours from the time a storm subsides.

"Low Priority" Streets are stop sign approaches, alleys, and some parking lots, and are plowed within 24 hours from the end of a storm.

To see what the priority level of your street is, you can use this map: arcg.is/1O6Yu5z.

Covington DPI is responsible for clearing 270 miles of streets and alleyways. Maintenance crews are prepared to work to keep roads in the best possible condition during winter weather.

If a snow warning is issued by the State or Kenton County, Covington snow crews will pre-treat our priority routes earlier in preparation and will remain on duty throughout the day and night as long as the snow continues.

The City of Covington has an interlocal agreement with other local cities and Kentucky for snow plowing. This means that not all streets in Covington are plowed by DPI. Some are maintained by the state, the county, and others by the cities of Taylor Mill, Erlanger, and Ft. Wright. In exchange, the City of Covington plows some roads for neighboring jurisdictions, including Kenton Vale.

General Safety Tips

As DPI crews make preparations for clearing roadways, motorists should also be prepared for driving in snow and ice by following these tips provided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet:

  • Drive carefully - Allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Do not use cruise control. Remember that bridges and exit and entrance ramps can be icy when other areas are not. Avoid nonessential travel if conditions are dangerous.
  • Leave a "space cushion" - Leave enough room between you and the car in front of you because stopping in snow may require up to four times your normal stopping distance.
  • Be seen - Dull, cloudy days will cut down on visibility so drive using low-beam headlights.
  • Steer into a skid - Stay calm and ease your foot off the gas while carefully steering in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go. Do not slam on the brakes.
  • Drive safely near snow plows - Motorists should be mindful of snow plows and salt trucks and give them the room that they need to work. 
  • Check the forecast - Call 511 or visit www.511.ky.gov for the latest condition reports before traveling. You can also get live traffic information for Northern Kentucky at ohgo.com/Dashboard/cincinnati 
  • Make sure your vehicle is sufficiently winterized - Check the battery, antifreeze level, heater, defroster, wipers and windshield washer.
  • Dress warmly for the weather in anticipation of unexpected emergencies.
  • Keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent fuel line freezing and to prepare for possible lengthy delays on the roadway.
  • Make sure your vehicle has an emergency care kit. It should include jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, an ice scraper, blankets, nonperishable food, a first aid kit, and traction material.