Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Feb. 23, 2019

I-90 closed west of Albert Lea because of whiteout driving conditions; No Travel Advisory for other highways in region

ALBERT LEA, Minn.  (8:30 p.m.)  The Minnesota Department of Transportation is closing Interstate 90 at 8:30 p.m., at Albert Lea at Interstate 35, because of deteriorating road conditions to the west.

Road conditions to the west of Albert Lea on I-90 are whiteout and drifting. MnDOT has closed the highway to the west. The closure at this point ensures that motorists are not traveling on a highway that is closed and without services near the highway.

Road closure devices may include barricades, flashing lights or gates lowered across the roadway. They inform motorists the road is not safe for travel. Their only option is to turn around and get off the road quickly. The decision to close a highway is made by MnDOT staff, with input from local law enforcement and the Department of Public Safety.

Additionally, MnDOT has issued a No Travel Advisory in the region for the following highways:

  • Highway 65 near Albert Lea
  • Highway 69 near Albert Lea
  • Highway 13 from Albert Lea to New Richland
  • Highway 30 from New Richland to Hayfield
  • Highway 105 from the Iowa border to Austin
  • Highway 218 from the Iowa border to Owatonna
  • Highway 56 from the Iowa border to Kenyon
  • I-90 from Dexter to Albert Lea
  • I-35 from the Iowa border to Faribault
  • Highway 251 from Clarks Grove to Highway 218
  • Highway 58 from Goodhue to Red Wing
  • Highway 57 from Kasson to Highway 60

The advisory will be lifted when conditions improve. More highways could be added to the advisory as conditions worsen across the region. Check MnDOT’s road conditions map for all advisories at 511mn.org

Across southeast Minnesota motorists should consider changing their travel plans Saturday night and into Sunday. The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for many counties in southeast Minnesota. The weather service says the combination of heavy snow and wind gusts to 50 mph could make it deadly if precautions aren’t taken. Heavy snow and winds will result in severe impacts to travel for many motorists tonight into Sunday.

MnDOT snowplow operators will be on the roads but snowfall rates, at times, will far outpace the work of the plows. High winds, especially in unsheltered areas, will result in whiteout conditions and have the potential for heavy drifting.

MnDOT snowplow operators will do their part to make highways safe and motorists should remember to:

  • Stay alert for snowplows, which turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They also may travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions
  • Stay back at least 10 car lengths behind the plow. Don’t drive into a snow cloud
  • Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions
  • Turn on your headlights and wear your seat belt
  • Turn off the cruise control
  • Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip
  • Don’t drive distracted
  • Check MnDOT’s road conditions map at 511mn.org

For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit 511mn.org or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store

To learn more about road conditions, highway construction and other southeast Minnesota MnDOT news, join the MnDOT Southeast Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/MnDOTsoutheast.

For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to mndot.gov/workzone/winter.html.