MARYVILLE (WATE) – Crews throughout East Tennessee are pretreating roads so that when snow falls, conditions will be better for drivers. In Blount County, the highway department was busy gearing up to clear snow the next few days.
Plows, salt bins and liquid brine containers were all being installed on vehicles Thursday.
“It’s a pretty in-depth process when you’re talking about a fleet of 20 trucks,” said Road Superintendent Jeff Headrick.
It’s step one for crews at the Blount County Highway Department so people like Caryland Hamby can be out and about come Friday.
“Whenever it snowed in ’95, it was up to my hood, and I took right off,” she said.Related story:Knox County road crews prepare for winter weather
This winter is starting off right for the highway department in that there are a number of new vehicles added to the fleet.
“It keeps us from having breakdowns and not cleaning the roads efficiently like we should,” said Headrick.
Crews were already out early Thursday morning pretreating close to 100 miles of road with brine by noon.
“Hopefully this pretreating is going to keep the snow from freezing and turning into a sheet of ice. If it’ll keep it slush, then we can get it off the road,” added Headrick.
With 830 miles of road to cover in Blount County, Headrick says crews have been briefed about which vehicle they’ll be in, “We put a partner with each driver in the truck, which operates the blade, and it’s a safety factor as well.”
While there is new equipment, a new batch of 300 to 400 tons of salt, there’s really nothing new about clearing snow out of the way.
“We’re ready, we’re excited, we like a challenge,” said Headrick.
“I love snow. I loved it in ’95. Gosh, I wish it would snow every day,” added Hamby.