New devices to help local winter weather roads

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- City Public Service crews will demonstrate a new de-icing device made possible by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee. It aims to regulate brine and spread it more evenly on the roads during the snowy weather.

Brine slows down freezing on our roads. Normally, a truck driver has to focus on a button to decide when to spray the brine, but that's about to change, at least in the City of Knoxville.

There's a new de-icing device. It's computerized. A table controls it.

"The prototype itself is really a brine dispensing truck that's more efficient and effective compared to other trucks," said Selin Anitsal, who is the UT student leader on the project.

"This new system will control the speed of the flow of brine and will take into account of topography," said Chad Weth, who is the City of Knoxville Public Service Director. "If it's a steep hill, if it's a bridge or an overpass, it will dispense more brine, almost like a boost."

ORNL has been working on the device for about 5 years, creating software and detailed maps of the city that show where the brine is needed the most.

They got UT and the City of Knoxville involved to bring it to life.

"It's always exciting to develop something that can actually help people, our cities, and make our roads more safer for the citizens," said Femi Omitaomu, who is the senior scientist at ORNL.

Truck drivers can focus on driving, while the brine saturates the roads.
The goal is to keep you safer during the icy, snowy season.

Crews are preparing now for the release of the device.