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MnDOT: "Okay" Roads Still Slick

Overnight temps creating some pavement freezing

April 16, 2018 - 6:37 am

A spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation has dubbed the state's roadways in "okay shape" after crews worked around the clock to clear away snow left over fro the massive weekend storm that paralyzed much of the region.

What makes the roads "okay" instead of, say, perfect, are the continuing weather conditions that are keeping pavements more slick, and more challenging to navigate in traffic.

"It's not good, it's not bad, people are going to get where they want to go, if they drive slowly and according to the road conditions," said MinDOT's Kevin Gutknecht on Monday morning.

That's because, despite the massive plowing effort by MinDOT crews, roads are still wet. And with temperatures dropping overnight, Gutknecht said, some of the moisture is freezing, especially on decks and ramps.

"Some roads have snow on them still, some don't," he said. "There are going to be slippery spots because of the melting that has occurred and the freezing overnight."

MinDOT crews have been out nearly all weekend moving mounds of snow from roadways across the state. They will continue to plow into the middle of the week, and motorists are advised to use caution when driving on wet and icy pavement.

And when will Minnesota road conditions be perfect?

"That's a very good question," said Gutknecht. "I think it all depends on the weather and what the temperature does."

There is snow in the forecast for Wednesday, but temperatures are expected to rise close to 50 degrees by the end of the week.

"Between crews moving snow off the roads and off the sides of the roads, and the sun helping to melt things, certainly by the end of the week things are going to be great," he said.

Gutknecht said rush hour traffic should be relatively smooth during the week.  He is concerned that the freezing overnight temperatures making the pavement more slick will continue to make morning rush hours difficult for several days.