Crews across state pre-treating roads to prepare for winter storm

8:39 PM, Jan 24, 2013   |    comments
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With winter weather on the way, road crews from TDOT and the City of Knoxville are out pretreating area roads in hopes of keeping them safe on Friday.

TDOT crews started rolling this morning, putting a salt brine mixture down on interstates and major state routes.

Officials said unlike last week's winter storm, when rain prevented crews from prepping the roads ahead of time, trucks have been out in full force all day Thursday.

"They are putting the salt brine down. We find that it's a very effective anti-icing solution and that's something will be pretreating roads with on East Tennessee roadways all day," said Mark Nagi, TDOT Spokesperson.

Nagi said overnight Wednesday, TDOT made the salt and water mix.

Starting 3 a.m. Thursday, crews will switch gears from prepping with brine, to treating with salt.

"We monitor forecasts that we get from the National Weather Service. We monitor local forecasts. We'll adjust our plans of action as need be," said Nagi. "If it seems like the ice is going to get here a little earlier, we'll have our crews working earlier as well."

In the meantime, Nagi urged drivers to follow the signs on the trucks that recommend 200 to 500 feet distance on the roadways, depending on the type of utility vehicle.

As for the recent rock slides, crews will halted work on those roadways to pretreat the highways, state routes, and overpasses with brine. Work is expected to continue after the winter weather rolls through.


The City of Knoxville crews started at 9:00 am Thursday, putting brine on city streets.  They may also put salt out later Thursday night, but that decision has not  yet been made.

Knox County crews have also been preparing the pavement.

They got to work Wednesday night around 7:00 pm, and stayed out brining the roads until 1:00 am.

Crews picked back up Thursday morning with 11 brine trucks, focusing on main roads.   They plan to work overnight to stay ahead of the storm.
Knox County has 11 salt trucks and around 70 folks standing by.

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