(Shelby County, TN) Winter weather threatens the Mid-South. It’s still several days away, but temperatures are expected to fall again raising fears of icy roads.
Even with a small chance of rain overnight Thursday, TDOT coated interstates and highways in 21 counties with brine mix to avoid what happened in Atlanta and Birmingham.
Both cities weren’t prepared for a winter blast, and it left thousands of cars paralyzed on the interstates.
“We try to get ahead of the systems and stay in front of them, instead of being with them,” said TDOT Communications Director Nichole Lawrence.
TDOT said it’s killing two birds with one stone: the mixture will stay on the streets through Sunday when a larger, icy storm is expected.
“There may be spots we have to go and reapply, but we won’t reapply everything,” said Lawrence.
Bob Nations with Shelby County’s Office of Preparedness said TDOT may want to rethink that answer.
“It will have to be done again if we have weather move in,” said Nations.
Brine costs six to seven cents a gallon, and so far this winter, TDOT has spent about $35,000 on it.
Nations said while brine mix is pretty cheap and gets the job done, labor, equipment maintenance and gas cost a pretty penny.
He said it’s a price you have to pay.
“I would much rather be criticized for taking an action then not taking an action and have citizens in a vulnerable environment,” said Nations.
Nations said the county is on standby this Sunday, in case the weather gets bad.