Snow fence

Image via www.dot.state.mn.us/environment/livingsnowfence/

LANESBORO — Hoping to learn more about how to stop snow from drifting and blowing across rural roads, the Minnesota Department of Transportation plans to conduct research on the topic in 2022 on Minnesota Highway 250 near Lanesboro.

To conduct the study, MnDOT is seeking landowners along the Highway 250 corridor in Fillmore County and other locations willing to install snow fences in areas where blowing snow is a problem.

A MnDOT and University of Minnesota team will be in Lanesboro on March 25 to review the blowing snow control program, which pays private landowners for installing snow control measures on their property. The program offers a variety of blowing snow control options, including long-term solutions such as trees, shrubs, native grasses or structural snow fences and short-term solutions such as standing corn rows or stacked hay bales. These options enable MnDOT to work with landowners to develop a tailored solution for their unique property needs.

Dan Gullickson, MnDOT blowing snow fence program coordinator, said, “People who drive those roads to get to work, take their children to school or do other daily trips appreciate those roads being clear and they often thank the landowner for this public service.”

Snow fences also save taxpayer dollars, as MnDOT snowplow operators make fewer trips, resulting in less fuel consumption, and reduce the usage of deicers such as salt, sand and chemicals, for smaller effects on the environment.

Research by MnDOT, the University of Minnesota Extension and the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies shows that snow fences can reduce the severity of injuries on road curves by 40 percent.

“Participation in the blowing snow control program is a public service for family, friends, and local community members who drive on Minnesota’s roads in the winter,” said Cassandra Goodnough, who helps coordinate the program in MnDOT’s District 6 in Southeast Minnesota.

For more information about the blowing snow control program or to find out if a property is eligible for the program, contact Cassandra Goodnough at 507-286-7681 or go online at www.dot.state.mn.us/environment/livingsnowfence.

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