The flakes of the season’s first major snow storm began falling on Minnesota Monday morning, and by the time the clouds clear out Tuesday, around a foot of snow could blanket a swath of the state.
As we shift into fall, state leaders are already thinking about clearing snow from the roads. And in some cases, what they’re finding is a big increase in the price of road salt. The demand for road salt is outpacing the supply. A trade group for salt mines says they can’t produce it as fast as states and cities are ordering it.
Many Minnesotans will likely be heading to the cabin or lake this weekend. And as they drive, the speed limit will be 55 mph in some areas, 65 mph and maybe even 70 in others. Kevin Gutknecht is the communications director for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Several viewers have been asking why the roads hit by the snow storm in Wisconsin seemed to be in better condition than those in Minnesota. “As soon as we hit the bridge, it was wet,” Kristine Glenna said about her drive from Woodbury to Hudson. “We keep being told that it’s too cold for chemicals to work, and it’s going to be like this for several days, but obviously something’s working in Wisconsin.”
From side streets to major highways, it was slow going throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota no matter where you were headed on Friday. Many drivers struggled even getting onto the roads as they had to dig their cars out of the snow that fell overnight.
After two inches of snow fell in parts of Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana on Tuesday, traffic in some places came to a standstill for 24 hours. Thousands of children had to spend the night at school and rescue crews brought food and water to stranded drivers.
If you have travel plans for Labor Day weekend, be prepared for a little traffic. MnDOT Director of Communications Kevin Gutknecht says there won’t be any construction going on, but the road work areas will still mean road closures and slower speed limits. “There are a number of work zones that folks may encounter during their holiday weekend travel,” Gutknecht said. “Work zones can still be dangerous places, so folks should slow down, take their time and proceed cautiously.”
Drive down any major freeway around the metro and you’re bound to hit some type of road construction. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has dozens of projects underway in the Twin Cities, but this construction season is off to a slow start. The dreary weather is putting a damper on how often crews are able to get to work.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is urging motorists to drive with extreme caution as they hit the roads for the Monday morning commute.
Two state agencies are working together to stop the number of pedestrian deaths on Minnesota’s roads.
A Minnesota transportation official said Friday that construction contractors won’t be blocked from claiming losses related to Minnesota’s state government shutdown, despite a last-minute insert in the state budget.
Gov. Mark Dayton is outlining a four-year plan to sink nearly $400 million into improvements for deteriorating state highways.