Brutal 2018-19 winter was the costliest for Minnesota roads in a decade

Winter 2018-19 will go down in history.
Author:
Publish date:
snowplow

Winter 2018-19 was brutal, but in more ways than simply freezing Minnesotans' faces seconds after they walked outside, or sending people to chiropractors as they dealt with backbreaking heavy, wet snow. 

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, last winter was a massive financial burden that cost them $133 million to clear roads of snow. 

MnDOT says it was the costliest winter in Minnesota in a decade, with the following factors contributing to the high costs. 

  • Statewide snowfall average of 97.2 inches. 
  • 31 snow events (storms of varying levels) during the winter. 
  • Winter Severity Index score of 154 (almost 40 points higher than in 2017-18). 
  • 1,800+ snowplow drivers working nearly 200,000 hours of overtime. 
  • 800+ plow trucks operating. 
  • Used 35,900 tons of sand. 
  • Used 246,500 tons of salt. 

The most memorable week of winter came in February, when an historic blizzard showed no mercy on southern Minnesota. It happened Feb. 20 when 8-10 inches of snow fell from southwest Minnesota through the Twin Cities, followed by a bomb cyclone blizzard two days later that added a foot of snow and wind gusts up to 55 mph. 

“Heavy snow is difficult, but the blowing snow proved to be our biggest challenge,” said Tim Zierden, District 6 maintenance superintendent, in the report. “We had 6- to 8-foot snow drifts more than a mile long on the interstate and it was worse on many of our two-lane highways.” 

It was so bad that Interstate 90 west of Albert Lea was closed for the weekend, along with I-35 south of Faribault and I-90 from the Faribault area to Dexter. It's something MnDOT calls a "rare triple shutdown." 

Screen Shot 2019-08-07 at 2.09.34 PM

Next Up

ambulance

Belle Plaine man dies after duck boat capsizes on lake

One man was found sitting on the overturned boat while another man was in the water.

Screen Shot 2020-11-29 at 4.59.51 PM

Watch: Adam Thielen watches end of Vikings/Panthers just like all of us

The Vikings receiver looked like a true fan on Sunday afternoon.

Chad Beebe

Chad Beebe's roller-coaster fourth-quarter keeps Vikings playoff hopes alive

A muffed punt and a game-winning touchdown helped defeat the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.

127266986_2766399800267634_3587849554502438415_n

West-central MN cops warn kids to stay off ice, or 'Santa won't come'

This comes amid repeated ice warnings across the state.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.

EDL1LeKXsAEeH32

How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

police lights

Shelter-in-place in Albert Lea after police officer shot in the chest

The officer was able to drive to an emergency room.

En-KfRaXEAEbuE7

St. Paul officer shoots man who got out of dumpster, ran towards police

A report says the man was naked and had a steak knife.

Screen Shot 2020-11-28 at 6.58.11 PM

Gophers dominate second half to defeat Loyola-Marymount

Marcus Carr scored 26 to send the Gophers to 2-0.

Related