MnDOT plows go to work as old man winter makes a mess on the roa - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

MnDOT plows get to work as old man winter makes mess on roads


MnDOT District 6 covers 11 counties with 102 snow plows. Since the rain started falling Wednesday night and turned into snow, crews have been out since midnight clearing roads for motorists.

We have had a mild winter so far, but Thursday reminded us that we do in fact live in Minnesota.

MnDOT reminds motorists to be cautious and drive carefully around snow plows in these type of conditions.

Drivers should keep at least 10 car lengths between themselves and a plow. When driving, motorists forget that snow plow drivers don't have great sight distances and are primarily focused on monitoring the front blade and wing blade.

Crews put down salt early Thursday morning until around noon, but after that they were pretty much done for the day.

"They're not going to be using a lot of salt now because it's snowing. You want to clear the snow off. If you put salt down on the snow, you'll get a melting and the cold temperatures will freeze it right away... so you're almost working against yourself," said Mike Dougherty, public relations for MnDOT District 6.

He said crews in southeastern Minnesota typically put down around 1,000 tons of salt in storms like this.

District 6 has spent 40% less in expenditures for snow removal this season as opposed to last year. That includes: snow plow wages, material used, and any costs going to snow plowing. However, Doughterty believes that will likely pick up since winter is not done yet.

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