Many express concern over West Knox snow removal

Many express concern over West Knox snow removal

Posted:
TDOT trucks prep for winter weather approaching Sunday, January 5 in Knoxville TDOT trucks prep for winter weather approaching Sunday, January 5 in Knoxville
Brine laid down on roadways can be ineffective if rain comes before snow Brine laid down on roadways can be ineffective if rain comes before snow
Cars make their way down a road in West Knoxville that has treatment remnants from night before Cars make their way down a road in West Knoxville that has treatment remnants from night before

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE)—  A few 6 News viewers expressed disappointment with how local governments handled the weather situation.  

One person called the newsroom Thursday night saying a street near them was a solid sheet of ice, and the city wasn't doing anything about it.  

The City of Knoxville Public Works Department treated several "slick" spots in West Knoxville that crews treated between late Thursday and Friday morning, according to Public Works Department Director David Brace.

West Knoxville resident Mike Burchfield used Weisgarber Road to get home Thursday night after going to the Lady Vol game.

He says the interstates were fine, but many of the first and secondary roads were a different story.  

"It was kind of shocking to see everything covered with snow," Burchfield said.

Other drivers had difficulties traveling around Kingston Pike in West Knoxville. 

One twitter user McKayla Boatwright tweeted "Driving isn't a joke right now, Kingston Pike is terrible, I slid a good five times."  

Another twitter user Brian Rice said, "Lots of ice everywhere, having to walk home from Kingston Pike."  

"There were definitely some slick spots in Knoxville. Westland Drive around 2:00 a.m. was very slick, we had to go out and add more salt to it. Robinson Road and areas around Middlebrook and a few spots in Fountain City," said David Brace, City of Knoxville Public Works director.  

Brace said snowfall began several hours quicker than crews anticipated.

He says 40 additional employees were called in to start spreading rock salts on Level 1 and 2 streets. 

The City of Knoxville street prioritization plan breaks streets into Level I, II, and III streets.  

Brace said road crews held off pre-treating with liquid brine since it rained before the snow started.  

"When we don't have the ability to pre-treat and you got to respond once it starts falling. The pre-treating makes a really huge difference, but you got to have relatively dry weather before the event to make that effective," Brace said.  

Brace says the department responded to a few calls to clear roads Friday morning.  

TDOT says they didn't receive any complaints in its 24-county region in East Tennessee.

TDOT spokesperson Mark Nagi says the highest priority is given to interstates, followed by major four-lane state routes, followed by major two-lane state routes followed by rural two lane state routes.  

TDOT handles the primary cleanup for state roads like Kingston Pike, which has less priority than interstates.   

Nagi says TDOT had trucks on all state routes and interstates during all hours of the snow event.

"It isn't like they are abandoning one area, they are on all their routes, all across East Tennessee," Nagi said.

Knoxville Public Service Department crews on Saturday will pre-treat many of the main roads for anticipation of snow on Sunday.

Teams will return to pre-treat main high-traffic Level I and connector Level II streets, and possibly some key neighborhood Level III streets with liquid salt brine. 

Unlike Thursday, liquid brine will be used because rain is expected to quickly changed to snow.

Brace says liquid brine can typically wash away during heavy periods of rain and not be effective. He believes this won't happen on Sunday, since the rain is expected to quickly change to snow.

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