NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Department of Transportation is preparing for another round of snow. The agency wants to stress these plans are very preliminary and could change with the forecast.
Right now, TDOT is planning to treat roads, particularly the interstates with brine. In other areas, TDOT is waiting for the rain to come through. If they pretreat too early and there’s rain, it will wash all the brine away.
“If there’s not too much rain, we can make sure to do that,” said Rebekah Hammonds with TDOT. “We kind of joke and call it cheap insurance. It’s just enough of a safe bet to make sure we get a little bit of a head start when that transition does start to happen.”
Hammonds said the agency has GPS systems in their trucks that allow drivers to see the road’s temperature. She added this technology is crucial because the road temperature is often different than the air temperature. It allows them to know what to treat and what not to treat.
When asked if TDOT experiences any strains with all of the recent snowfall, Hammonds said, “Our department has been ready since early November – In Tennessee, as you know, we just never really know what’s going to happen in the winter. It does seem like snow is piling on this year so hopefully, we get a reprieve.”
She said there are about 10 drivers out sick with COVID-19 in District 38 which included parts of northwestern counties. “Honestly at this point, we have some drivers out for COVID, and that really has been more of a bigger hit than necessarily repeat snow.”
Some of those drivers should be back in the fleet by this weekend’s snow event.