Weather Related Closings

Winter weather road preparations: How the city of Memphis and TDOT are preparing

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG is monitoring the road conditions as we look to the threat of winter weather.

The wet weather that moved through the Mid-South affected how crews prepared on Thursday the day before snow, sleet and ice could potentially hit the area.

The city of Memphis isn't having crews put any brine down because the wet weather will wash it away.

However they're hoping the mild temperatures Thursday will help.

"They drive crazy when it rains. They drive off in a ditch when it rains, imagine what they'll do in the snow," a citizen said.

Which is why the city of Memphis is getting ready, but they're dealing with a problem.

"Ideally, we would put brine down to kind of prohibit ice forming on the roads, but because of the rain we're just not going to be able to do it," said Robert Knecht, Director of Public Works.

"When you have ice coming it's really advantageous to put brine down, because it does stop that ice from bonding to the pavement. That's where the problem really starts with ice. You know, if it bonds to the pavement it's almost impossible to remove," he explained.

The problem Thursday might be wet weather, but the mild temperatures could help.

"It's really going to be a combination of things - the ground temperature, how much ice we get and how cold the wind is. So those are the variables we have to work around when we come to respond. If things work in our favor, there's a good chance we wont have any accumulation because the ground temperature is high. Then we can put down the salt and sand and stop it from becoming more of an issue." said Knecht.

The city has more than 8,000 tons of sand and salt mixture available to be spread by 12 trucks throughout the Bluff City.

Also battling the rain, the Tennessee Department of Transportation is trying to do what they can to get ready.

"We can do prep right now. We can get ready and make sure all our equipment is running," said Michael Welch with TDOT.

"We know how much equipment we have, where it will be posted and the routes we're going to cover, but it will be a waiting game on when the temperatures are to switch at this time."

The city wants to remind you, not every road can be treated. Bridges, overpasses and major roads are given priority.