NASHVILLE – In light of the major backup seen on Virginia’s Interstate 95 earlier this week due to snow and ice, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) on Wednesday sent out a notice to motorists saying that they are “stocked and ready to clear roadways of ice and snow” ahead of Thursday’s predicted winter weather.
According to a TDOT news release, salt supplies have been replenished in all 95 counties in preparation for the winter season, and crews have readied snow plows and brine trucks. TDOT said that crews were already out on Wednesday pre-treating state routes and interstates.
“We prepare for winter weather months in advance,” TDOT Commissioner Joe Galbato said. “Our salt bins and our brine are fully stocked, and our employees are ready to mobilize in the event of inclement weather. Clearing our roadways as soon as we can is vital to keeping motorists safe and traffic moving in Tennessee.”
TDOT’s statewide 2021/2022 winter weather budget is $25.6 million and includes salt, salt brine, overtime for employees and equipment maintenance. The department has salt vendors to refill salt bins as needed in all 95 Tennessee counties.
TDOT currently has nearly 200,000 tons of salt and more than 1.5 million gallons of salt brine ready for use. Salt brine is a salt/water mixture used for pre-treating roads before a winter storm or to melt snow on roadways when temperatures are hovering around the freezing mark. Salt is applied to roads once the snow has started to accumulate.
When snow hits Tennessee, TDOT ice and snow removal teams focus first on clearing interstates and heavily traveled state routes and specifically target areas vulnerable to freezing, such as hills, curves, ramps, bridges and interchanges. During prolonged weather events, crews may have to clear roadways repeatedly.
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