Based on current forecast, TDOT crews won’t brine roads early

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As anticipation grows over the forecasted snow in Middle Tennessee Friday, the Tennessee Department of Transportation said crews won’t be brining roads early.

Officials said rain would just wash it away.  Get the latest forecast at

“If it’s going to come in quick as a dry snow, what not, we’ve got time to do the salt brining that many people see. Our whole school of thought on that is that the brine gets out on the road as a liquid, and then that liquid evaporates out and then we have the dry salt residue. So we’re brining when we know that there’s not going to be a lot of rain come in prior to the rain changing over to snow,” explained Mike Brown with TDOT.

And that’s what’s happening this Friday. Temperatures will start out above freezing Friday morning with heavy rain spreading all across Middle Tennessee.

As colder air makes its way to the Nashville area, the switch from rain to snow is expected to happen by Friday afternoon.  Keep an eye on the radar at

Before the full change to snow, a brief period of freezing rain and sleet comes into the mix, making roads icy. By afternoon and early evening, everyone transitions to periods of snow.

So what does TDOT do instead?

“Before it gets down to freezing temperatures, then we’re going ahead and putting out some granular salt out on the road. And then, obviously with the rain and the granular salt, that’s kind of making brine naturally,” Brown told News 2.

MORE: First snowfall expected Friday for Middle Tennessee

And for the last several years, they’ve added a new trick to the process.

“If it’s going to be extremely cold, say in the mid to upper 20s, we may even pre-wet the granular salt with a chemical called calcium chloride. It allows us to lower the eutectic temperature. That means it gives it more melting power and strength at lower temperatures,” Brown explained.

TDOT says that will work until the temperature is down to about 15 to 18 degrees, but then there are still the snow plows.

And something new they have at TDOT this year is trucks that have a plows underneath as well as out front.

“What we’re looking at is some new technology that we’re using. This is called an under body plow. It has hydraulic cylinders that allow this plow to be pushed down and create more downward pressure to give us more ice cutting ability,” he told News 2.

News 2 reached out to some school districts who said they will keep a close eye on the forecast. Check the latest list of school closings at

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