Here's how TDOT has been battling the ice in West Tennessee.
Memphis city crews have been “in continuous operations since midnight Sunday” to battle ice on the city’s streets, said city officials late Tuesday, and will continue to “provide around the clock service for as long as necessary.”
Updates on work to clear icy roads in the Memphis area have come frequently from the Tennessee Department of Transportation and from Shelby County officials. But Tuesday’s statement was the first from city officials who said crews have been focused on treating the highest risk areas.
These include “bridges and overpasses, inclines and declines, followed by major intersections. Also, hospitals, police precincts, and fire stations are treated in order to ensure public safety agencies and emergency care centers are able to provide vital services to citizens.” Also, the work has focused on the highest traffic areas “rather than residential streets.”
But in all of its work, the city has not used snow plows.
“Memphis, like most Mid-South cities, does not use snow plows since, historically, snow events have not been frequent or severe enough to warrant them,” read the statement from the Memphis Public Works Maintenance division. “Furthermore, snow plows are primarily effective in removing snow from roadways but ineffective in removing ice because once ice sets or bonds to the pavement it is not easily removed by any mechanical means such as snow plow blades alone.”
Rather than snow plows, the city will continue to deploy 13 salt trucks on established snow and ice routes. Officials said the city has adequate supplies of salt and sand for the rest of the year.
“Over the past two days salt trucks have applied nearly 1,600 tons of salt and sand on these same routes, leaving approximately 1,100 tons of salt and over 6,000 tons of sand,” the statement said.