Archived Story

2012-13 winter taxed MnDOT after relatively light 2011-12

Published 10:43am Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Minnesota Department of Transportation used nearly double the amount of road salt last winter compared to the previous one.

The 2012-13 season snowfall, reported at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, was 67.7 inches, compared to 22.3 inches in 2012-12. Statewide salt usage was 304,555 tons, which is almost double the 154,072 tons in 2011-12 and 47 percent more than the five-year average.

In total, labor, equipment and materials cost the state $90.5 million this season, in contrast to $45.9 million spent last season.

“Last year’s warm winter temperatures mixed with below-average snowfall led to an unusual, but opportunistic 2011-12 snow and ice season for MnDOT,” said MnDOT state maintenance engineer Steve Lund. “The department caught up on repairs to cable median barriers, guardrails, culverts and fences and jump-started crack sealing and pothole patching. We were also able to purchase some new plows, and other critical equipment needs.”

“The good news is the easy winter of 2011-12 was the first in the state’s two-year funding cycle, so we were able to leverage second-year funding for what Mother Nature threw at us during the 2012-13 season,” he added.

MnDOT delivers snowplowing services on some 12,000 miles of state highway in eight districts that cover all regions of Minnesota. To meet performance targets for achieving bare pavement, the agency uses techniques to inhibit ice formation and improve the road surface for plowing. Technology like Automatic Vehicle Locating, a global positioning-based system, allows MnDOT districts to track resources, including chemical and material usage, as well as monitor truck deployment.

For more information on maintaining Minnesota’s state highway system, visit www.mndot.gov/maintenance.

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