Knoxville area highway crews prepare for winter weather

Knoxville area highway crews prepare for winter weather

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Tennessee Department of Transportation officials say they have spread brine on all interstates, four-lane aterial routes, urban two-lane routes, and other routes considered priority based on high traffic counts. Tennessee Department of Transportation officials say they have spread brine on all interstates, four-lane aterial routes, urban two-lane routes, and other routes considered priority based on high traffic counts.
Officials with Knox County's Highway Department say they have approximately 4,000 tons of road salt ready for use. Officials with Knox County's Highway Department say they have approximately 4,000 tons of road salt ready for use.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Highway crews around the Knoxville area spent Monday preparing the roadways for the forecasted winter weather.

Tennessee Department of Transportation officials say they have spread brine on all interstates, four-lane aterial routes, urban two-lane routes, and other routes considered priority based on high traffic counts.

"We began at 9 a.m. this morning right after the traffic died down a little bit," explained TDOT spokesperson Bud Slaton, "Putting down our pretreatment, our salt brine."

TDOT workers will also be present throughout the night if necessary to respond to the forecasted rain turning into sleet.

Officials with Knox County's Highway Department say they have approximately 4,000 tons of road salt ready for use.

Because rainfall is predicted ahead of the anticipated wintry weather, crews say the effectiveness of brine pre-treatment will be limited. However, the department will have brine trucks on standby if needed.

TDOT officials say it takes a heavy rain to wash all the brine off, and they would rather be safe than sorry.

"We will stay with it and monitor the roadways," said Slaton.

Knox County says all 11 salt trucks and 11 brine trucks are ready for use.

Knox County's Highway Department has been using brine on major roadways and trouble spots during the winter for the past couple years. The brine system includes three 1,600 gallon tanks mounted on tandem-axle dump trucks and eight 1,000 gallon tanks used with single-axle dump trucks.

Salt brine is a liquid mixture of salt and water applied to roadways to stop snow from sticking.

During winter storms residents are, nevertheless, advised to stay off roads whenever possible until crews have cleared the snow. Workers will start clearing main thoroughfares and known problem areas first, then will move on to complaints and secondary roads.

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