KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 20, 2011) -- When severe weather conditions hinder citizens’ ability to go about their regular day-to-day routines, the Knox County Highway Department gears up its services to prevent prolonged delays.
Knox County Highway Department Road Crew Supervisor Roger Biggs says he realizes the importance of efficiency when dealing with dangerous weather conditions.
“Timing is the biggest concern of all,” Biggs said. “We prepare daily and try to jump on the situation from the moment severe weather hits.”
In fact, the Knox County Highway Department takes several steps before sending salt trucks out onto the roads. For example, all of the vehicles used to salt county roads are dump trucks that the Highway Department converts to snow trucks. By utilizing one vehicle for multiple operations, the Highway Department ultimately saves taxpayer dollars.
Each truck contains up to 8 tons of different mixtures, including sand and salt. One truckload can cover between 10 to 15 miles of roadway, depending on conditions. Salt truck drivers take specific routes in order to treat main roads first, and then they clean up secondary cross-roads.
All Knox County Highway Department drivers are focused on the safety of Knox County citizens. During severe weather, each driver arrives to work at 6 a.m. and puts in a 16 hour day, despite the dangerous conditions.
“There is definitely a nervous feeling all drivers have when on the roads, but we take it in stride,” Biggs said. “You are constantly thinking about possible mistakes.”
Nevertheless, the Knox County Highway Department understands how crucial their responsibilities are to the safety of citizens, and the county’s highway crews serve their community to the best of their abilities.
For more information about the Knox County Highway Department and their responsibilities, visit www.knoxcounty.org/epw/highwaymain.php.