By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The falling snow Tuesday evening created a white haze for drivers northwest of the metro as snow continues to move south.

While we haven’t had snow in a few days, we have been in a deep freeze, and that made for some slick, unforgiving spots on the roads. Highways, interstates and major streets are already clear, for the most part, across the Twin Cities, but with snow in the forecast, there is a concern that within minutes the commute could become treacherous.

“We are staffed and ready to go once the snow hits,” Kent Barnard of MnDOT said.

MnDOT crews are ready to go, prepared to plow away whatever falls from the sky during Tuesday’s evening commute. They’ve been working hard to get to this point — Tuesday’s dry roads come courtesy of the pre-treatment work done last week.

“We put down a lot of salt brine,” Barnard said. “It’s calcium chloride mixed with regular rock salt that has been put down on the roadway when we were working the last storms.”

Barnard says temperatures below 10 degrees make it impossible for salt to work clearing ice off roadways.

“We should have enough residual salt on the road, so it should take care of what we get,” he said.

MnDOT says it cannot keep the blacktop clear without help from the people who drive it.

“This has to be a partnership with motorists and MnDOT to work on keeping our roads safe,” Barnard said. “We can only do so much out there. The cold winter weather, the conditions that we face out there can be very challenging. We need motorist to slow down and drive carefully. Stay off your cell phones, turn off your cruise control, watch for the weather conditions.”

Barnard says crews do better clearing roads when drivers keep their distance from plows and slow down. You can keep track of traffic conditions with MnDOT online.

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