MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Tennessee Department of Transportation uses snow plows to clear interstates, and many have wondered why the City of Memphis doesn't do the same.
As it turns out, they have an experiment planned Friday.
"We do have heavy equipment that we can put out into service," said deputy public works director Robert Knecht.
Backhoes and front-end loaders stand ready in Collins Yard to help clear city streets, if wintry conditions warrant.
"There's no point if there's no accumulation on the roads to utilizing it," said Knecht. "But if there is, then we're going to try it as an experiment."
Technically, the equipment was not purchased or designed for snow and ice removal. However, public pressure was among the factors that prompted city officials to give it a try.
"What we've decided to try is basically a pilot," said Knecht.
Despite some criticism, many drivers believe the city has done a good job already this week keeping major streets, bridges, and over-passes passable. But any added measure certainly can't hurt.
"Because it is scary when you can't see what's on the surface," said driver Bob Hatch.
"I think the most important thing is to use good common sense," said driver Calvin Johnson. "If it's really really bad and you're fearful, don't get out there," he added.
Public works crews were planning to be on the clock all night long, prepared to respond to whatever the weather brings.
"Various models say various things," said Knecht. "So we're going to be in early to try and be ahead of the game," he added.
City officials hope to get funding for actual plow attachments in the upcoming fiscal year.