MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Snow plows have been out since 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, getting ready for ice, slush and snow.
“We put down the chemicals to help break up the ice that was heading our way this morning,” MnDOT’s Kevin Walker said.READ MORE: Wild And Timberwolves Win Big Saturday, United Ties
While it helped, the wintry mix made things difficult for MnDOT workers.
“Some of it got diluted on the roadways because of the rain that came down,” he said.
That layer of ice was just enough to create problems for morning commuters.
“We did have a couple vehicles roll over, including a semi on 694 westbound that really caused some congestion for a while,” Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Tiffani Nelson said.
Walker says MnDOT went back out on the roads with more salt, and the trucks have been out ever since.READ MORE: Family Mourns 'Loving' And 'Gentle' St. Paul Man After Fatal Hit-And-Run
But it’s more than just roads. Sidewalks are slick across the metro area, with the exception of Target Field Station, where you could hardly tell it had even snowed.
“People like it because they know the pavement’s dry, they’re not going to slip and fall,” Hennepin County Department of Environmental Services director Carl Michaud said.
The biggest risk there is maybe a puddle or two. That’s because of what’s underneath the concrete, melting the snow as it hits the ground.
“We have in place here tubings where there’s glycol that’s been heated by the waste heat from the plant, and it’s warm enough that it’ll melt any snow,” Michaud said. “I know our maintenance people like it because they don’t have to get out here and shovel the snow.”
It goes far beyond convenience. No salt keeps those chemicals out of our water. And no chemicals mean this water can be used again.
“The best part is, too, we’re able to take some of the water from the snowmelt and re-use it back at the plant,” Michaud said.MORE NEWS: Minnesota Gophers Beat Maryland 34-16
About 25 percent of rain and snow falling on Target Field Station flows into two cisterns, and is then reused in the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center.