Strong winds, temperatures hamper ice removal on highways across Minnesota
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) reports that heavy snow compaction and ice from Thursday’s extensive snowfall are making travel difficult to hazardous from the southwest corner to the northeast corner of Minnesota. Roads in the Twin Cities Metro area are in fair condition.
MnDOT urges drivers to be patient, plan for trips to take additional time and if possible, avoid travel. Plow crews are currently working to remove the ice and compacted snow, but are inhibited by strong winds, drifting snow and cold temperatures in rural areas.
MnDOT maintenance personnel say Friday’s primary concern is the wind. Drifting snow can cover a highway again immediately after a plow has just passed. The wind may blow salt off the road, and the salt becomes less effective in colder temperatures.
Officials do not anticipate any interstate or highway closures at this time; however, motorists may encounter brief lane and road closures where crashes occur.
Crews expect road conditions to slowly improve throughout the day, as precipitation ends across the state Friday morning.
Motorists should remember to:
- Check road conditions at www.511mn.org or call 511; it takes time to get roads back to good driving conditions.
- Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
- Stay back at least five car lengths behind the plow, far from the snow cloud. Snowplow operators will pull over when it is safe to do so to allow traffic build-up to pass.
- Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They may also travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.
- Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions. Snowplows typically move at slower speeds.