TDOT Preps For Expected Ice, Snow

Posted at 4:32 PM, Jan 11, 2018

Snow plows were filled with salt as the Tennessee Department of Transportation prepared for a possible winter storm Friday.

TDOT officials said their crews can't brine the roads Thursday night because forecasted rain will wash the treatment away.

TDOT has about 230,000 tons of salt and over 1.6 million gallons of brine ready to go. 

Roger Messender said, "Take and put the salt down when it's raining just before the change over. Let mother nature make her own brine. It'll help keep it from freezing to the road. And then it will help us also fight the snow."

Drivers weren't sure if they believed a winter storm was coming. 

Herb Mercer said, "And I'm definitely not even worried about it sticking because it's been so warm the past couple days. Ice isn't going to have a chance to stick to the ground." 

It nearly reached 70 degrees Thursday. 

Mercer said,  "I'm in shorts today; so we'll see what happens." 

A TDOT supervisor said the condition of the roads may surprise you. 

They will be using a new technology in 108 new trucks to help them target problem spots and determine where they need to put additional salt.

Messender said, "I've got my dew point. My relative humidity. Air temperature. Road temperature. This is my control for the salt." 

As temperatures dramatically drop, it's hard to pin point what will happen. 

Ashley Kendrick said, "I don't know it's a toss up. Today it feels great, and tomorrow we're supposed to get ice and snow so I don't know!" 

Kendrick said she's going to keep her eye on the weather just in case. "It's just unbelievable!"

Back at the salt barn, crews double checked their game plan.

Messender said,  "We're pretty confident we're going to have this under control." 

Officials asked people to stay off the roads Friday.

Messender said,  "If you don't have to get out, don't get out. Ice, there is no magic to it. Once you start sliding, it's sliding." 

TDOT's winter weather budget is more than 21 million dollars in 2018. That covers the cost for salt, brine, and overtime pay.