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News Item #1367
[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Cleanup from Recent Storms Continues
Posted: 19-Feb-2009 11:09PM CST

The state is still cleaning up from recent ice and wind storms.

From Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Dept. of Highways District 3:

Beshear administration awards contracts for removal of storm debris in counties stricken by ice disaster
Governor says 'volume of debris is overwhelming' for many local governments
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Steve Beshear's administration has awarded contracts in 78 counties to help rid communities of a staggering amount of debris left by the disastrous ice and snow storm that began sweeping through Kentucky on Jan. 27.
"The volume of debris and the potential cost to remove it is overwhelming for many of our communities," Gov. Beshear said. "Some county judge-executives have told me that it would take a year to dispose of all the debris if they did not have extraordinary assistance."
The Transportation Cabinet, working with the Finance and Administration Cabinet, advertised for contractors to remove debris like brush, tree trunks and limbs. The contracts do not provide for picking up storm debris such as plastic, metal or wood products such as siding, paneling or milled lumber.
The service will be available to local governments for clearing rights of way of any state, county or city roadways in those counties certified as disaster areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The number of counties and contracts could increase as FEMA's assessment continues.
"The ice and snow storm tested our ability to respond to a natural disaster, and this debris removal is part of that continuing response," said Transportation Secretary Joe Prather.
"We understand the importance of getting this debris cleared from roadways to avoid current and future problems," said Finance and Administration Secretary Jonathan Miller. "We expedited these contracts so that we can immediately improve the situation across the state."
Thanks to the Governor’s directive, the Transportation Cabinet will finance the upfront cost of debris removal by these contractors. FEMA will reimburse 75 percent of the costs, and participating counties and cities will be required to cover 13 percent. The state will absorb the remaining 12 percent of the costs.
Contractors will begin removing debris within 24 hours of receiving their contract. The arrangements for their work along each route will be coordinated by officials of the Transportation Cabinet, after consultation with county and city government officials representing the local area. The service will only be applied on roadways that are not already being addressed by city or county contractors or employees.
Residents along state routes in Barren, Logan, Todd, Edmonson, Butler and Warren Counties should place storm debris along side the road as soon as possible for pick up. This effort will include all state routes in those counties, as well as the county roads in Edmonson and Butler Counties.
The work will consist of removing fallen trees and branches from highway rights-of-way, as well as cutting leaning or overhanging trees that still constitute a hazard to motorists.
Contractors will only be picking up fallen trees and branches along the roadside. They will not pick up metal, plastic or wood products such as paneling, siding, plywood or cut lumber. Contractors also will not be going onto private property to remove fallen trees and limbs from yards or fields. Contractors will begin collecting the debris today.
Motorists are urged to watch for these debris removal crews once they begin work. They are urged to "Drive Smart" and be on the lookout for flaggers and equipment in the impacted areas. This work will require lane closures on multi-lane routes, and temporary traffic stoppages on two-lane routes. Drivers should anticipate delays and plan their trips accordingly.

From Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Dept. of Highways District 10:

Ice storm debris removal to follow snow and ice priority routes
Work to begin Monday, Feb. 23 in Breathitt, Estill, Magoffin, Menifee, Morgan and Powell counties
JACKSON, KY – When contractors begin work Monday, Feb. 23 to remove fallen trees and limbs from roadsides in six east-central and eastern Kentucky counties, they will follow the same priorities the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet uses for snow and ice removal.
The Finance and Administration Cabinet awarded contracts last week for removal of debris from January’s ice storm in Breathitt, Estill, Magoffin, Menifee, Morgan and Powell counties. Each of these counties was included in a presidential disaster declaration issued following the ice storm, and a large portion of the expenses incurred will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Preliminary planning for the project began Monday, Feb. 16, and work this week has primarily focused on acquiring and preparing sites for disposal of the trees and limbs.
The debris cleanup effort will include all state routes in each of the six counties, as well as county roads in Powell County.
Two crews will be working in each county, and work will begin on major routes designated as Priority A for snow and ice removal. Afterwards, work will move to minor and secondary routes designated as Priority B and C.
Maps of the priority routes can be found at http://www.kytc.state.ky.us/D10/maps.asp [Outside Link].
The work will consist of removing fallen trees and branches from highway rights-of-way, as well as cutting leaning or overhanging trees that still constitute a hazard to motorists.
Contractors will only be picking up fallen trees and branches along the roadside. They will not pick up metal, plastic or wood products such as paneling, siding, plywood or cut lumber. Only one pass will be made along each highway. Contractors also will not be going onto private property to remove fallen trees and limbs from yards or fields.
Although priority routes have been established, dates that debris will be picked up along specific highways have not been determined. Work schedules will be set on a tentative basis, and may be impacted by weather conditions as well as quantities of debris encountered by the crews. Work is expected to be completed by April 6.
Motorists are urged to watch for these debris removal crews once they begin work. They are urged to "Drive Smart" and be on the lookout for flaggers and equipment in the impacted areas. This work will require lane closures on multi-lane routes, and temporary traffic stoppages on two-lane routes. Drivers should anticipate delays and plan their trips accordingly.

From Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Dept. of Highways District 12:

Storm recovery continues
Signal repair, ditchline cleanup, debris removal under way
HIGHWAY DISTRICT 12 – February 18, 2009 – Debris removal along state right of way began in Johnson and Martin counties this week. Three contractors for Highway District 12 have until April 6 to dispose of all storm-related debris. FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) will reimburse the state for most of the cost associated with storm debris removal.
Hubbard Trucking of Flat Lick, Kentucky, and Virginia Turf of Norfolk, Virginia, will each have two crews in Johnson, Lawrence, Martin, and Floyd counties. In addition, Mullins Enterprise of Pikeville has two crews in Johnson County.
Two state-owned dump and burn sites, one on KY 645 in Lawrence County, and one in Johnson County on KY 3, are in operation. More than 6,000 trees either broke or were uprooted and blocked state roads in Johnson County. “The state has about 227 miles of road in Johnson County,” said Sara George, district information officer. “That’s about eight trees per two-lane mile. You can see why it’s taken so long to chain saw our way out of such a mess.” George noted that those figures do not take into account county roads or private property, only state-maintained roads and bridges.
State highway workers are cleaning up rockfalls and small slides that followed storms which traveled through Eastern Kentucky during the past several weeks. As water freezes to become ice, it expands. According to Eric Thomas, Director of the East Kentucky Science Center in Prestonsburg, water is the only known non-metallic substance that does this (expands as it gets colder).
Thomas explains that the expansion of water as it freezes is how nature breaks down rocks. Know as “ice wedging” or “frost wedging,” water seeps into cracks in the rocks (or pavement), freezes, and expands, forcing the rocks apart. When the water melts, the crack is just a little wider than it was before. The next time this happens, the crack gets even wider. Eventually the rock breaks into smaller pieces and tumbles downhill. Ice wedging is part of winter’s freeze and thaw cycle, one that causes a safety problem along our roadways.
Traffic signals took as big a hit as the roads, according to Keith Coleman, traffic technician supervisor for District 12. His report to Chief District Engineer Kevin Damron listed the following damages in Letcher, Pike, and Floyd counties as of February 17. The itemized list for Johnson, Martin, Knott, and Lawrence counties is still being compiled.
Pike County
1. Flashing beacon US 23 at Robinson Creek completely destroyed.
2. Nine sign hangers on US 23 at Coal Run completely destroyed.
3. Five signal heads on US 23 at Coal Run: three repaired two temporarily repaired and will need to be replaced.
4. Several signals on flash; all were repaired.
5. Two heads damaged on US 119 at Town Mountain; need replacements.
6. One head damaged on US 119 at Harvey Street Bridge, South Williamson; needs replacement.
Floyd County
1. School flasher on KY 321 at Prestonsburg High School completely destroyed.
2. Power outage KY 80 at KY 1210; signal restored 2/13/09 at 9:00 p.m.
3. Heads turned on US 23 at Allen; new heads held up but the swivels gave way. Repaired on site.
4. Head turned on US 23 at Bays Branch. Repaired on site.
5. Head damaged on US 23 at Harold; needs replacement.
Letcher County
1. Sign hanger broken on KY 15 at Wendy's. Replaced.
2. Power outage KY 15 at KY 931; power restored at approximately 1:30 a.m. on 2/12/09.
3. Power outage KY 15 at middle signal; power restored at approximately 1:30 a.m. on 2/12/09.
At the time of the Wednesday, February 11, wind storm, Coleman estimated that there were more traffic signals malfunctioning on US 23 in Pike, Floyd, and Johnson counties than there were working signals. Signals were operating properly by Friday evening.
Chief District Engineer Kevin Damron said a total estimate is not yet available of how much it will cost Highway District 12 to recover from the January-February ice, snow, and wind storms. “We still have to get repair or replacement estimates on signs, more traffic signals, and things like ditchline and culvert cleaning. Our priority right now is storm recovery work. Fortunately FEMA is helping with the bulk of the cost of debris removal, which may end up being our biggest expense.”

Debris cleanup images courtesy of District 12:

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Comment posted by Bon on 16-May-2011 11:52AM CDT
When a road is blocked and preventing school buses from running to pick up children, would that be in the priority list?
 
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Updated: 16-May-2011 11:52AM CDT

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