TDOT crews take a breather, prepare for winter weather round 3

FILE PHOTO - TDOT salt truck in Knox County

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Friday was the first day this week the Tennessee Department of Transportation hasn’t had crews out treating the roads. Two hundred and fifteen plows and salt trucks are sitting in TDOT parking lots across East Tennessee, waiting.

TDOT says right now, state roads in East Tennessee are clear, but they may not stay that way for much longer. Crews are getting ready for round three Friday night.

It’s been a long week for TDOT crews while they’ve tried to prepare for and react to the heavy snow and ice across East Tennessee, sometimes working 14 hour shifts to clear state roadways and get ready for the next round. They got a much needed break from both the weather and road treatments Friday, but it won’t last.

“They will be on the job and plan throughout the night and into the early morning hours as well, because it looks like we’re going to get a little more winter weather,” said TDOT spokesperson Mark Nagi.

This month alone, TDOT has used 17,000 tons of salt and 600,000 gallons of brine. Most of it was used this week. TDOT said it was enough that there’s no need to use anymore Friday because there’s so much left on the roads.

Since it’s been such a mild winter, TDOT said there are plenty of supplies left to take care of the roads in East Tennessee. There are 31 salt bins filled with salt, ready to go in case the roads get worse.

Just because TDOT crews aren’t out on the roads doesn’t mean they don’t have a plan. They know bad weather is coming. They’re getting ready, and they know exactly which trouble spots to hit first.

“If it’s bridges, if it’s overpasses, a lot of of those on and off ramps they can get pretty slick. So we’ll go over and plan on treating those roadways time and time again as necessary,” said Nagi.

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