Transportation officials talk about their response to last week’s winter weather

JACKSON, Tenn. — Don’t let these warmer temperatures fool you. With it only being the middle of winter, city crews were busying clearing the streets from snow and ice just last week.

City of Jackson Street Department Superintendent Percy Jones felt the city did a fairly good job in cleaning the streets, but he did have a few issues to consider.

“We got to see a situation that we hardly ever get to see, so we know basically we need to change some stuff when it comes to ice,” Jones said.

Jones said because of the below-freezing temperatures and lack of sun it was hard for the layer of ice to melt, making the cleanup efforts difficult.

“The salt’s down up on the ice, but when temperature’s at 15 degrees and below, salt don’t normally work,” Jones said.

Tennessee Department of Transportation Community Relations Officer Nichole Lawrence also felt the ice hindered their recovery efforts.

“As soon as these events happen, we really like to pre-treat the roads. This event, we were not able,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence says TDOT has a budget of about $4 million a year that goes toward winter weather cleanup and maintenance along with 28,000 tons of salt at their disposal.

“We probably used 18 to 20 thousand tons, roughly,” Lawrence said. “They’re still calculating those, which is a large amount.”

For any future winter events in the Hub City, Jones says the best they can do is plan ahead.

“You’ll never know what mother nature might bring, but we tried to be prepared as we can be,” Jones said.

Jones said he hasn’t dealt with an ice event like this in decades and says he has put a few problems into consideration for the next winter event.

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