Border battle: Wisconsin roads in better shape than Minnesota's?


Is Wisconsin beating Minnesota in the war on roadway ice and snow?

WCCO picked up on that topic of conversation among motorists in the last few days, noting that some drivers say the Badger state seems to have clearer roads, WCCO reports. “We keep being told that it’s too cold for chemicals to work, and it’s going to be like this for several days, but obviously something’s working in Wisconsin," motorist Kristine Glenna told WCCO, comparing roads on opposite sides of the river in Hudson, Wisconsin, and Woodbury, Minnesota.

The station doesn't dig out a definitive reason that would explain why Wisconsin roads might seem better.

But it notes a few differences between the two states: Wisconsin delegates road clean-up to counties, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation handles all the work itself, which include 5,000 miles of roads in the Twin Cities alone. Other factors that are always at play: Wind, snow drifting and traffic accumulation, officials say.

Wisconsin also uses a cheese brine, an economical salty brew that is different than the brine used on Minnesota roads – although there's no definitive proof that the cheesy stuff is any better at melting road ice.

(Other states have experimented with various ingredients in pursuit of the perfect brine, including potatoes and beets.

Road crews in both states Monday continue to work to improve ice-encrusted streets and highways. MnDOT officials say conditions are getting better:

In the metro, Minneapolis is observing Day 1 of new parking restrictions that limit parking to one side of the street, the Star Tribune reports, leaving residential neighborhood parkers hopelessly circling the block. (The city has a snow emergency Facebook page and a video below with more info.)

St. Paul is mulling a similar even-side parking ban.

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