Knoxville snow removal plan

Paige M. TravisFeature

When winter weather arrives, rest assured: Knoxville’s Public Service Department is trained, prepared and fully equipped to respond.

“We always plan ahead and look for ways to improve our response to snowstorms,” said Public Service Director Chad Weth. “Our employees went through their annual snow response training on Nov. 24, when it was actually sunny and warm, in the upper 50s.

“This training provides a refresher course on the city’s Snow and Ice Removal Plan, which is reviewed and updated every year. The plan provides our crews with an operational blueprint to follow and a clear, objective list of snow-removal priorities. For example, bridges, streets carrying large volumes of traffic, and approaches to hospitals get top priority.”

With consecutive years of mild winters, the city has a full stockpile of salt in storage. But an effective response to a winter storm is as much about manpower, planning and training as it is about equipment and materials, Weth said.

“Our crews take snow response seriously. We have a great team of experienced professionals that plans ahead every year for snowstorms.”

Resources ready to deploy whenever needed:

  • Up to 20,000 gallons of brine, which is mixed at the city’s Public Works Service Center;
  • 10,000 gallons of calcium chloride, used in extreme temperatures;
  • 2,000 tons of rock salt;
  • 23 trucks used for plowing and salting;
  • Seven trucks used for brine application; and
  • Up to 75 employees as needed for storm response.

When snow threatens, the City systematically and predictably pre-treats and then clears streets by following its Snow and Ice Removal Plan. 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, Moody Avenue, Island Home Avenue and Cedar Lane

Level III – streets that are connectors to neighborhoods and main connections at the neighborhood level; examples include Woodland Avenue, Jessamine Street, Bridgewater Road and Oglewood Avenue

Learn more here.

Paige Travis is a public information specialist for the city of Knoxville.

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