Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Feb. 24, 2019

I-35 closed from Iowa border to Owatonna, I-90 closed west of Albert Lea because of whiteout driving conditions

No Travel Advisory for other highways in region

ALBERT LEA, Minn.  (2 a.m.)  The Minnesota Department of Transportation is closing Interstate 35 at 2 a.m., Sunday from Owatonna to the Iowa border because of poor visibility and drifting. Earlier, MnDOT closed Interstate 90 from Albert Lea west, because of deteriorating road conditions to the west.

Road conditions are whiteout and drifting along these two interstate highways. Once conditions improve on Sunday, roads will be reopened.

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, with input from local law enforcement and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

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

  • Highway 13 from Albert Lea to New Richland
  • Highway 14 from Winona to west of Eyota and from Kasson to west of I-35
  • Highway 16 from Dexter to Whalan
  • Highway 30 from New Richland to Highway 74
  • Highway 42 from north of Elgin to Highway 61
  • Highway 43 from I-90 to Winona
  • Highway 52 from Iowa border to Rochester and from Pine Island to Cannon Falls
  • Highway 56 from the Iowa border to Highway 52
  • Highway 57 from Kasson to Highway 52
  • Highway 58 from Zumbrota to Red Wing
  • Highway 60 from Kenyon to Wabasha
  • Highway 61 from Homer to Miesville
  • Highway 63 from the Iowa border to Highway 30 west near Rochester International Airport and South Troy to Lake City
  • Highway 65 near Albert Lea
  • Highway 69 near Albert Lea
  • Highway 80 from Highway 16 to Highway 52
  • Highway 105 from the Iowa border to Austin
  • Highway 139 from the Iowa border to Harmony
  • Highway 218 from the Iowa border to Owatonna
  • Highway 248 from Altura to Minnesota City
  • Highway 251 from Clarks Grove to Highway 218
  • Highway 250 from Highway 30 to Lanesboro
  • I-90 from Highway 43 to Albert Lea
  • I-35 from Owatonna to Faribault

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

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 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.

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