MnDOT Urges Caution When Driving This Holiday Weekend
As Minnesotans take to the highways for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is asking travelers to plan ahead and check road conditions before they begin their trips.
“Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year and knowing where travel might be delayed or congested will help make the trip safer and less stressful,” said Commissioner Charlie Zelle.
AAA forecasts more than 54 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this week, which is the highest travel volume in more than 12 years.
Motorists may encounter work zones even though no workers or construction vehicles are present.
Travelers in the Twin Cities will continue to see detours, lane reductions and detours for some of the longer term projects. These projects include the I-35W North to I-94 West ramp and the I-94 East to I-35W South ramp, which are closed. From Blaine to Lino Lakes, there is an active work zone with shoulder closures and no shoulders in areas and no cable median barrier along I-35W. Southbound I-35 is reduced to two lanes with narrow shoulders between Highway 8 in Forest Lake and Highway 97 in Columbus.
In Greater Minnesota, Highway 14/15 in New Ulm is still under detour all winter. Two projects on Highway 60 between Cottonwood and Wantonville counties have restricted lanes through Nov. 30.
The 511 traveler information system website and phone app provide road and driving conditions and includes links to the National Weather Service. The system is available at www.511mn.org or by dialing 511. Motorists can download the free 511 app on their smartphones and other mobile devices.
“Allowing extra time for travel and being prepared for changing weather conditions, which affect roadway conditions, will make safer roadways for everyone,” Zelle said.
Although the weather looks like it will cooperate for those traveling throughout much of the state, MnDOT crews will be out as necessary. Rain might develop in some areas of the state, but warmer temperatures should keep the precipitation from turning to ice or snow in most areas until the weekend when the possibility of snow exists.
MnDOT asks motorists to slow down, not drive distracted and travel a safe speed for the current conditions, which sometimes means lower than the posted limit.
More winter driving information is available at MnDOT’s winter safety tips on the MnDOT website.