MnDOT snow plow preparations

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(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Department of Transportation and its 102 snowplows are gearing up to keep you safe on the roads this winter.

As the snow starts to fall, truck drivers are taking to the roads.

Maintenance supervisor Jake Siemers explains it’s easier than ever for snow plow operators to make sure the roads are as safe as can be. “When [a snow plow operator] is out on the road… he’ll put in his conditions on the road, and this gives updates right to Minnesota 511. Then after they do that, it’ll tell you how much salt or brine to put down on the road. “

Pictures and data input by drivers immediately update the information displayed on the department’s traffic and road conditions map online.

“So he’s kind of like doing the condition forecast, doing our part of the job, which then gives us then the information for the public to see on the map,” explains maintenance supervisor Robert Langanki.

“It looks at wind speeds, temperature, the moisture content, all those factors that go into what kind of salt to put down, where to put it, how much, all those things,” says Mike Dougherty, MnDOT Director of Public Engagement and Communications. “So it takes the guesswork out.”

MnDOT recommends that you check the website to stay informed about road conditions that you may face on your commute and to know when it may be too dangerous to drive.