Crews work overtime to clear roadways, warn potholes are inevitable

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Transportation said crews have been working around the clock to clear roadways across West Tennessee.

From Sunday to Friday morning, state crews have used roughly 18,000 tons of salt on the roadways and covered nearly 100,000 miles across 21 counties. They said they have been able to clear most lanes on state-owned roadways as of Friday morning.

Closer to home, crews in Memphis have utilized about a dozen plows to clear the roads. About half of those are from outside contractors.

“The contractors we brought on are working aas well as us until late into the evening. Most of them are putting in 16, 18 hour days,” said Robert Knecht with the city. “There are limits due to safety working overnights, so much of our plowing operations is happening up untila bout 10 p.m. or 11 p.m.. Then we’re shifting to minimal staffing overnight with our salt and sand trucks and then resuming plowing operations first thing in the morning.”

The Memphis Public Works Department said it only has enough equipment to focus on the main roads. It will not be able to get to residential streets soon.

Once they do get those main roadways clear they’ll have to contend with another problem: potholes. According to TDOT, the pesky car damagers form when moisture gets into the pavement, freezes, expands and then thaws. The void that is created will then collapse when driven on.

State crews said when this happens they will only be able to make temorary repairs as the asphalt plants aren’t open until the spring.

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