The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) can assure motorists it is stocked and ready to clear roadways of ice and snow. Salt supplies have been replenished in all 95 counties in preparation for the winter season, and crews have readied snowplows and brine trucks.
“Roads are our number one responsibility, and we prepare for winter weather months in advance,” said Deputy Governor and TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley. “Our salt bins and our brine are fully stocked, and our employees are ready to mobilize in the event of inclement weather. Clearing our roadways as soon as we can is vital to keeping motorists safe and traffic moving in Tennessee.”
TDOT currently has 244,000 tons of salt and more than 1.6 million gallons of salt brine ready for use. Salt brine is a salt/water mixture used for pre-treating roads before a winter storm or to melt snow on roadways when temperatures are hovering around the freezing mark. Salt is applied to roads once snow accumulates.
TDOT’s statewide 2023/2024 winter weather budget is $26.6 million and includes salt, salt brine, overtime for employees, and equipment maintenance. The department has three salt vendors to refill salt bins as needed in all 95 Tennessee counties.
When snow hits Tennessee, TDOT ice and snow removal teams focus first on clearing interstates and heavily traveled state routes specifically targeting areas vulnerable to freezing, such as hills, curves, ramps, bridges, and interchanges. During prolonged weather events, crews may have to clear roadways repeatedly.