Road crews tackle the icy roadways
By Megan Boatwright
Eyewitness News Reporter
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Chattanooga Public Works trucks have been out since Sunday night. They focused on clearing main roads through the night.
On Monday, residential roads got some much needed attention, but the work is still far from over with freezing temperatures in the forecast.
Twelve salt and sand trucks will stay on the clock until midnight.
"I have 4 wheel drive and I got onto Veterans Bridge and turned sideways and I have mud tires too," says driver Amy Foster.
It's clean up day in the Tennessee Valley, after a storm system and freezing temperatures brought snow and ice Sunday night.
"Stayed off the roads this morning then went up to Signal and went sledding," says Foster.
Roads went from a white, icy mess Monday morning to covered in salt and sand.
"In this short term event we've spent about 50 thousand dollars worth of salt and sand," says Chattanooga Public Works Assistant Director Tony Boyd.
Chattanooga Public Works crews hit the roads hard around 5 o'clock Sunday afternoon, clearing the most traveled first. Usually crews would prep roadways with a salt and water mixture, but temperatures dipped too low on Sunday.
The salt and water mixture, brine, is what the city uses to prep roads when temperatures are above 22. It is much cheaper to replace that pure salt and sand. With the temperatures we've experienced since Sunday, prepping the roads with brine wouldn't be beneficial.
"You ready the equipment there isn't anything else you can actually do on the roads," says Boyd.
Boyd says, their program is fashioned after northern cities. Chattanooga has 35-hundred tons of salt and sand stock piled. Salt alone is 76 dollars a ton, so they have to use it wisely.
"Cities in the south are not a high priority for salt and sand vendors to be purchased in the middle of the winter," says Boyd.
Which only means one thing for Chattanooga drivers in freezing temperatures, go slow and stay off the roads completely if you can.