TDOT preps highways for threat of winter weather
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JACKSON, Tenn. — Although some area school kids are out for spring break and spring officially starts in 10 days, West Tennessee is on alert for a chance of snow this weekend.
Leaders with the Tennessee Department of Transportation said they have been preparing all week for the possibility of winter weather. Even though it is late in the season, TDOT said the mild winter has worked to their advantage as they gear up for this weekend.
The salt trucks and snow plows are ready to hit the highways if winter weather hits West Tennessee.
“We’ve got about 170 trucks across West Tennessee that’ll be out, working (Friday) and (Saturday) getting the roads prepared,” TDOT Region 4 Director of Operations Michael Welch said.
Friday morning, Tennessee Department of Transportation crews started pre-treating major roads across the region with brine. Welch said the work they are doing now will save time and money later.
“That lets us get out ahead of it,” Welch said. “So when it does snow or sleet or things like that you’ll have a layer of salt on the ground and that ice melts as soon as it hits it.”
Welch said TDOT has double-checked equipment, making sure it is in working order. Although not much snow is expected, he said trucks will be out early Saturday putting down another layer of brine on I-40.
“Pre-treatment is definitely the most effective way to do anything right now,” Welch said. “But if we do get some accumulation of snow, we will be treating with salt.”
Whether snow falls over the weekend, TDOT crews are ready to respond. But they stress, if you don’t have to drive, don’t. But if you must, be careful.
“We’re not use to driving on ice and snow everyday, so when it does occur just take extra caution,” Welch said. “Know that we’re going to be out there working on it, and trying to get them clear, and making it as safe as possible.”
The city of Jackson’s street department supervisor sadi his team is also on standby if local roads are affected by the weekend weather. He said the city has about 500 tons of salt just in case.
Stay with WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News for the latest on road conditions across West Tennessee. The Vipir 7 Storm Team will be monitoring the weather closely as the chance for winter weather moves into the area.