News release from state Department of Transportation:
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is stocked and ready to clear roadways of ice and snow this season. Over the last several weeks, salt supplies have been replenished in all 95 counties, and crews have readied snow plows and brine trucks for the winter season.
“We have more than a thousand employees who are trained in snow and ice removal, and they are ready to mobilize when winter weather hits Tennessee,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “Clearing our highways as quickly as possible is essential in our efforts to keep motorists safe and keep traffic moving.”
TDOT’s statewide 2013/2014 winter weather budget is $19.7 million, and includes salt, salt brine, overtime for employees, and equipment maintenance. The department has a total of three salt vendors to refill salt bins in all 95 Tennessee counties.
TDOT currently has more than 235,000 tons of salt and more than 1.8 million gallons of salt brine ready for use. Salt brine is a salt/water mixture used as a pre-treatment for roads prior to a winter storm or to melt snow on roadways when temperatures are hovering around the freezing mark. Salt is applied to roads once 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 will 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.
TDOT has a number of tools available to keep motorists informed about travel conditions including the TDOT SmartWay website (www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway) and the 5‑1‑1 motorist information line. You can also receive traffic alerts via TDOT’s multiple Twitter feeds, including statewide traffic tweets @TN511 or any of TDOT’s other Twitter pages. Smartphone users can download the TDOT SmartWay mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for Android to access TDOT’s SmartWay cameras, messages displayed on overhead Dynamic Message Signs, and information on construction related lane closures and incidents on interstates and state routes.
For more information about TDOT winter weather preparations, or for a regional breakdown of TDOT winter weather supplies and equipment, visit the TDOT web site at http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/mediaroom/snowbuster.htm.