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TDOT Crews Stocked and Ready for Winter Weather

 

Tennessee Department of TransportationNashville, TN – Winter weather is already here in some parts of Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of Transportation is stocked and ready to clear state roadways of ice and snow this season.  TDOT crews will once again use a variety of tools to battle winter weather including salt, salt brine, beet juice, and potato juice.

Snow Plow

Snow Plow

“Last year’s winter storms forced TDOT crews to use twice as much salt and three times as much salt brine as we normally use during a winter season to keep our roads clear of ice and snow,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely.  “After replenishing our supply our crews are ready to go to work keeping Tennesseans moving this winter season.”

For the 2009/2010 winter season TDOT’s maintenance costs were double that of the previous year.  The 2010/2011 statewide budget has been increased by 23% to $14.7 million in recognition of the potential for another winter with above average precipitation.

TDOT currently has more than 174,000 tons of salt and more than 1.4 million gallons of salt brine ready for use.  TDOT crews can add a substance made from potato juice or a substance made from beet juice to salt and salt brine to help melt ice and snow at lower temperatures.  Both substances are biodegradable, non-corrosive, and are environmentally friendly. 

The department is also adding ten new snow plows.

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.

Ice & Snow Take It SlowTDOT maintenance personnel stay in close contact with the National Weather Service leading up to a possible winter storm.  Once snow begins to fall they monitor roadway conditions through a number of means including the Roadway Information System (RWIS).  TDOT has 36 RWIS stations statewide that monitor weather related factors such as air temperatures, dew-point, wind speed/direction, precipitation types and rates, and asphalt temperatures.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol also alerts TDOT to any problem areas on roadways across the state as do TDOT Help Units in the urban areas.

TDOT and the THP remind motorists to dial * THP from any cellular phone should they become stranded or need assistance when on the road.  All Tennesseans can monitor roadway conditions before leaving home by visiting the TDOT SmartWay website at www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway or by dialing 511 from any cell phone or land line phone.  TDOT is also on twitter @TN511.

Here is a look at some of TDOT’s winter maintenance statistics from a statewide perspective.

  • Salt Trucks: 837
  • Snow Plows: 828
  • Salt (tons): 174,381
  • Salt Brine (gallons): 1,464,505
  • Salt Bins: 120
  • 2010-2011 available budget for winter weather needs: $14,743,750
  • 2009-2010 statewide winter-weather budget: $12,002,115
  • 2009-2010 statewide actual expenditures: $23,668,214
  • R.W.I.S. weather stations: 36

Winter maintenance capacities by region are as follows (approximated):

                                    Brine (gallons)      Salt (tons)               Snow Plows    

Region One:              219,500             54,920                          211                 

Region Two:              223,225             47,300                         202

Region Three:           612,780             42,913                         248         

Region Four:             409,000             29,248                        167
 

*All quantities are subject to change
 
For more information about TDOT winter weather preparations, or for a regional breakdown of TDOT winter weather supplies, visit the TDOT web site at www.tn.gov/tdot and click on the Ice and Snow: Take it Slow logo.


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