Crews work to get ahead of Tuesday's snow
TDOT crews and the Chattanooga Public Works Department (CPW) spent Monday pre-treating roads so Tuesday's snow will take longer to stick.
TDOT crews and the Chattanooga Public Works Department (CPW) spent Monday pre-treating roads so Tuesday's snow will take longer to stick. It's done by spraying a brine.
The tanks on most CPW trucks can each hold 1,000 gallons of brine. Crew supervisor Sterling Lund says even if we only get a dusting of snow across the city, roads would be a mess without pre-treating them.
"Once it's packed down and tight and the cars drive over it several times, it'll cause it to turn almost to ice, really," says Lund.
CPW also has a super-sized 5,000-gallon tank which takes 30 to 40 minutes to fill. Using the brine is a tried-and-true method of taming the impact of snowfall.
"We've been doing it probably in the ball park of 18 to 20 years. It's worked pretty good," adds Lund.
However, extra steps will be needed if it snows more than expected.
"Then we'll start spreading salt, and plow," says Lund.
TDOT has also been busy spraying brine. Region 2 spokesperson Jennifer Flynn says it was a perfect day for it.
"The sun's out. It's above freezing. So, this is a perfect day. The wind is blowing, so it'll help dry the brine," explains Flynn.
After the brine dries it sticks to the roads and leaves salt behind, both of which will melt the snow faster.
Because some areas of southeast Tennessee could get one to two inches of snow, TDOT has been getting fresh salt ready, too. Some of the trucks can hold up to 20 tons of it. New technology allows only the right amount to be distributed along each mile of road, so no salt is wasted.
It's already been a fairly busy winter, but Flynn says supplies are plentiful and they can handle snow.
"We'd much prefer snow to ice. Snow is a lot easier to deal with," adds Flynn.
If you see a truck spreading brine or salt, please slow down and leave plenty of room for the truck operators to do their jobs.