Road crews in Kentucky and Tennessee are prepared to clear roadways in the event of severe weather in the region.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is stocked and ready to clear roadways of ice and snow this season. Over the last several weeks, salt supplies have been replenished in all 95 counties, and crews have readied snow plows and brine trucks for the winter season.
TDOT currently has more than 235,000 tons of salt and more than 1.8 million gallons of salt brine ready for use.
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, such as hills, curves, ramps, bridges and interchanges. During prolonged weather events, crews may have to clear roadways repeatedly.
TDOT has a number of tools available to keep motorists informed about travel conditions including the TDOT SmartWay website (www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway) and the 5 1 1 motorist information line. You can also receive traffic alerts via TDOT’s multiple Twitter feeds, including statewide traffic tweets @TN511 or any of TDOT’s other Twitter pages. Smartphone users can download the TDOT SmartWay mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for Android to access TDOT’s SmartWay cameras, messages displayed on overhead Dynamic Message Signs, and information on construction related lane closures and incidents on interstates and state routes.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet highway crews in the 11 counties of District 2 are already pre-treating some area highways. Initially, rain threatened to wash pre-treating material off the roadway.
Time and temperature limitations will now allow all highways to be pre-treated, but crews are making an effort to treat as many miles of highway as possible.
Transportation officials say there is residual heat in the pavement from warm weather the last few days that will initially help melt the frozen precipitation as it falls. However, sometime around 9 to 10 p.m., tonight, they expect colder temperatures to sap that heat. When that temperature shift occurs, they expect roadways to become hazardous fairly quickly. They are asking motorists to avoid unnecessary travel during the overnight hours and to use extreme caution in the morning.