With forecasts calling for a chance of the season’s first snowfall tonight, Knoxville crews have prepared by treating city streets with brine to reduce the likelihood of snow sticking to the pavement.
Priority Level I and II streets outlined in the City’s Snow and Ice Removal Plan were treated Thursday with brine solution, which reduces the temperature at which water freezes. Crews are prepared to follow up with salt as needed tonight.
“We began preparing for our snow season last year, when we conducted our annual snow training,” said Chad Weth, the City’s Public Service Director. “Knoxville has top-notch resources and a fine-tuned snow plan that allows our crews to proactively prepare for and then respond to East Tennessee’s winter weather.”
The Public Service Department has resources and manpower ready to deploy:
- Up to 20,000 gallons of brine, which is mixed at the City’s Public Works Service Center;
- 500 gallons of calcium chloride, used in extreme temperatures;
- 2,000 tons of rock salt;
- 23 trucks used for plowing and salting;
- Six trucks used for brine application; and
- Up to 75 employees as needed for storm response.
When snow falls, the City systematically and predictably clears streets by following its Snow and Ice Removal Plan, which sets priorities and is updated annually. Level I streets get immediate attention, followed in order by Level II and then Level III streets:
- Level I – main streets carrying the highest volume of traffic and providing access to hospitals; examples include Kingston Pike, Chapman Highway, Magnolia Avenue and Broadway
- Level II – streets connecting main streets, feeder streets to connector streets, and “trouble spots” and hills; examples include Sutherland Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and Cedar Lane
- Level III — streets that provide access to neighborhoods and main connections at the neighborhood level; examples include Island Home Road, Jessamine Street, Bridgewater Road and Oglewood Avenue
Last year, City crews spread 28,000 gallons of brine and 930 tons of salt to clear the City’s 470 lane miles of streets.