TDOT, Memphis Public Works respond differently to road conditions following winter storm

TDOT, Memphis Public Works respond differently to road conditions following winter storm

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Why are some streets covered in ice and slush while others are dry as can be? It's a stark difference between the roadways in Lakeland than in Memphis. But why?

Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is responsible for highways. Municipalities and counties are responsible for the streets in their respective areas.

Responders say many factors impact the cleanup following a winter storm.

"Traffic helps," said TDOT District Operations Supervisor Dennis Moultrie. "Today, the sun's been out so that will help us a lot, too."

TDOT has tractors with plows and dump trucks with salt and plows. City of Memphis does not have plows in the budget due to cost-efficiency.

"We plan based on what we see is our operational need," said Robert Knecht, City of Memphis Public Works. "Historically, we have not had enough need for plows because in this area we don't get a lot of frozen precipitation."

TDOT reports scraping the roads in 20-hour shifts. City of Memphis treated the roads around the clock.

"We're using salt and sand," Knecht explained. "We did brine as a preventative measure. Now, we are in reactive mode and salt and sand are what we're putting down."

City of Memphis has only 13 salt and sand trucks, while TDOT has 45 to 50 crews on highways across Shelby, Tipton, Fayette, and Lauderdale counties.

With a chance for more precipitation, responders could have another big night ahead.

Shelby County Public Works representatives say they have added two road graders to their efforts to remove slush before it can refreeze Tuesday night.

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