TDOT Crews Stocked and Ready for Winter WeatherFriday, December 09, 2011 | 01:40 pm
NASHVILLE – Winter weather has already arrived in some parts of the state and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is stocked and ready to clear roadways of ice and snow this season. After two years of harsh winters, the Department has increased its snow and ice budget and added additional salt vendors to replenish salt supplies as the winter season progresses.
“Much of the country experienced an unusually severe winter last year and we saw salt shortages everywhere, including here in Tennessee,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “This year, we have taken steps to ensure we have the supplies we need to keep our roads clear of ice and snow.”
In recognition of the potential for another winter with above average precipitation, TDOT increased its 2011/2012 winter weather budget to $15.5 million, up nearly a million from the previous winter. TDOT’s winter weather budget includes salt, salt brine, overtime for employees, and equipment maintenance. The department now has a total of three salt vendors to refill salt bins in all 95 Tennessee counties.
TDOT currently has more than 191,000 tons of salt and more than 1.6 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, like hills, curves, ramps, bridges and interchanges.
TDOT has a number of tools available to keep motorists informed about travel conditions, including a new feature on the TDOT Smartway Mobile website (http://m.tdot.tn.gov/SmartWay/), which provides smart phone users access to TDOT’s SmartWay cameras, incident information, and messages displayed on overhead Dynamic Message Signs. Users can now also access valuable information on weather related road conditions such as snow and ice, as well as flooding.
For more information about TDOT winter weather preparations, or for a regional breakdown of TDOT winter weather supplies, visit the TDOT web site at http://www.tn.gov/tdot/mediaroom/snowbuster.htm.
For more information:
TDOT, Director of Community Relations & Communications