Road conditions improving in southeast Minnesota, but motorists should expect slower travel times
ROCHESTER, Minn. (12:30 p.m.) Road conditions are improving in southeast Minnesota, but at this hour three state highways remain closed and several others are listed as no travel advised due to snow drifts and icy driving conditions, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
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. It’s important for motorists to not go around barricades of barriers or remove barricades on roadways.
A barricade was removed from Highway 63 south of Lake City overnight into Tuesday, which could have caused vehicle crashes, because only a single lane was cleared through a sizeable snow drift. No injuries were reported.
At this hour Highway 63 between Lake City and South Troy north of Rochester, Highway 30 between Rushford and Highway 74 east of Chatfield and Highway 43 between Rushford and Mabel (Highway 44) in Fillmore County are closed to traffic.
Additionally, MnDOT has issued a No Travel Advisory in the region for the following highways:
- Highway 63 between South Troy and Highway 52
- Highway 30 between Stewartville and Chatfield
- Highway 16 between Dexter and Spring Valley
- Highway 16 between Highway 52 and Whalen
- Highway 80 between Highway 16 and Fountain
- Highway 139 between Harmony and the Iowa border
- Highway 43 between Rushford and Interstate 90
- Highway 74 between Weaver and Alba
Motorists traveling in southeast Minnesota should expect to use caution and reduce speeds due to rough and icy road conditions. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead for significantly longer travel times until all roads are clear of snow. Motorists should be alert for MnDOT snow removal crews on the roads for much of this week. The machinery moves slowly and takes up space, so motorists should slow down, move over and anticipate there might be brief delays until it’s safe to pass or the machinery can be moved over to a safe pull-off.
Road openings will appear on MnDOT’s road conditions map at 511mn.org, via news release, Twitter and Facebook. More roads are expected to open Tuesday, but much depends on the equipment and progress of removing vehicles that were stuck on the roads.
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.
For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to mndot.gov/workzone/winter.html.