TDOT running low on salt after busy winter
NASHVILLE (WRCB) - The busy winter has the Tennessee Department of Transportation coming up with a new plan to save salt to make it last. Winter weather started affecting Tennessee roads in November of last year and TDOT's arsenal of salt is being used at a faster rate than our supplier can replenish reserves.
"An active winter weather season has increased demand for salt and has slowed efforts to replenish stockpiles," said TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges in a news release to Channel 3 Eyewitness News.
"We are working closely with our salt supplier to fill orders as quickly as possible. In the meantime, it will take our maintenance forces longer to clear all routes of snow and ice as we try to conserve salt."
TDOT will employ some of the other techniques available to clear roadways during weather events in the coming days and weeks. Crews will increase the use of salt brine and calcium chloride, both of which can successfully melt snow and ice from roads, and will help stretch existing salt supplies until new salt shipments arrive in early February. TDOT will also use its fleet of snow plows to remove any snow accumulation from interstates and state routes.
In early January, TDOT shifted salt from the western and middle parts of the state to East Tennessee, where supplies were depleted by several winter weather events. However, all four regions of the state are now experiencing lower levels of resources.
"Once salt reserves are restored, TDOT will resume typical snow and ice removal operations on all state routes," TDOT Maintenance Division Director Greg Duncan said. "Until our salt supplies are replenished, we ask that motorists and residents use extreme caution as we face several more weeks of winter."