MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — 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.”

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Todd Rehnelt, St. Croix Highway Department’s assistant patrol supervisor, says there is one major difference between the neighboring states.

“We manage the road system for the state, whereas the state of Minnesota manages it themselves,” Rehnelt said. “The process itself is about the same.”

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is responsible for 5,000 miles of roads in the metro alone, while it’s up to the individual counties to plow in Wisconsin.

Another difference is that some counties in the land of cheese use cheese brine, according to MnDOT spokesperson Kevin Gutknecht.

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“That is a very good deal. It saves the cheese company from having to dump it down the drain, and it gives the transportation organization some salt water so they don’t have to use their salt to make their own brine,” Gutknecht said.

MnDOT does have its own brine. The process of salting, sanding and plowing is about the same on both sides of the border.

“A lot of the chemicals and the plowing applications are very similar,” Rehnelt said.

Highway clean-up officials in both states say the difference from one road to another can be contributed to factors like wind, snow drifting and traffic accumulation. This could explain why Interstate 94 seemed cleaner on the Wisconsin side.

MnDOT still has nearly 200 crews out cleaning up.

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“We made good progress today,” Gutknecht said. “I think we’ll make more progress tomorrow.”

Kate Raddatz