Tennessee Department Of Transportation Update

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Winter weather in the Tennessee Valley is fickle!

Even the experts will tell you it can change at a moment’s notice–and what looked like a snow storm can turn into something a little less troublesome.

Depending on where you live, this could have been one of those days, but the Tennessee Department Of Transportation and the Georgia Department Of Transportation have to be ready just in case.

The mountainous areas of the Tennessee Valley did get a dusting this afternoon, but this “first round” of winter weather was not a big inconvenience, so far.

Schools were closed in many areas, or let out early and the agencies in charge of keeping us safe were not taking any chances.

Sometimes they use new tools.

“In our line of work, the roadway temperature is just as important..or even more important than the air temperature. So, we keep tabs on that, uh, a couple of different ways,” said Jennifer Flynn.

TDOT, and the GDOT still uses traditional methods of making sure that you can get from point A to point B even if the weather is bad, but any additional information also helps.

“We have temperature censors built into some of our newer dump trucks, but the ones that don’t have censors built in, we use this temperature gun.”

What does knowing what the road temperature have to do with making a safe roadway?

“It helps us know roadway surfaces are getting really, really cold..you know what we got to deal with with the salt and everything like that.”

At 9 o’clock this morning on I-75, according to TDOT, the air temperature was 29, but the roadway temperature was 35.

“That is very useful to us… we’ve got people throughout our region that are out there getting these conditions and reporting them back to us so we know where, uh, you know where we might have a problem area.”

If you still have to travel, you’ll want to know that Monteagle mountain is now salted since the roadway is below freezing.

The same is true of most other mountain roads in the area.

“Our basic plan right now is to monitor the situation… see what happens and act accordingly.”


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