Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Dec. 27, 2016

Partially snow-packed roads cover much of Northeastern Minnesota

Improved conditions expected by tonight

Duluth, Minn. – Many Northeastern Minnesota highways are still partially-covered with compacted snow and ice. MnDOT has been plowing and treating the roads continuously since Saturday and will continue until all highways are clear.

“We have applied 730-tons of salt, 310-tons of salt/sand mix and we haven’t finished calculating how much salt brine and Magnesium Chloride we have applied,” said Chris Cheney, MnDOT D1 operations superintendent. “We’ve had every truck out there since the storm began and even had a few breakdowns, but our mechanics were able to get the trucks fixed so they are out there now too.”

Cheney said the storm was a tough one and that the continuous wind has added to the compaction by creating “Blow ice.” Blow ice forms after snow blows over a roadway and sticks to the surface.

Cheney said that he expects road conditions will improve by tonight, but advises motorists to check 511.mn.org for the latest-up-to-date travel conditions.

“Our plow operators were committed to keeping the highways as safe as possible during this storm, which hit hardest Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,” said Cheney. “Many of them missed their Christmas dinners or squeezed them in between shifts so they could try to have the roads in good shape for the public to get home safely.”

For updated road condition information, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.