Road crews prepare for winter storm with brine Tuesday - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Road crews prepare for winter storm with brine Tuesday

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State and local road crews are preparing for the season's first threat of winter weather by putting brine on the roads.

The Chattanooga Public Works Department sent trucks out to begin brine treatment at 11 a.m. with the goal to be finished by 8-9 p.m. Tuesday evening.

"We just try to prepare for each event as best as possible and try to have our trucks in place where we think we'll need them," said Ricky Colston, who manages street maintenance.

TDOT spent the day spreading brine on the interstates and mountain roads in Hamilton County and crews will return early in the morning to salt the roads if necessary.

Salt brine is a salt and water mix used to pre-treat roads before a winter storm. Salt is used on roads once snow has started to accumulate.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has more than 250,000 tons of salt and nearly 2 million gallons of salt brine ready to use statewide. When it snows, TDOT focuses first on clearing interstates, the busier state routes and areas vulnerable to freezing.

"Tennessee often sees the bulk of its winter weather in January and February," TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. "Our salt bins are fully stocked and our employees are ready to mobilize in the event of inclement weather. Clearing our highways as quickly as possible is essential in our efforts to keep motorists safe and keep traffic moving."

TDOT's statewide 2015/2016 winter weather budget is $19.5 million, and includes salt, salt brine, overtime for employees, and equipment maintenance.

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