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MnDOT on road conditions: 'It just takes time'

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Officials are still advising drivers to stay off the roads in some parts of Minnesota.

Ice-covered roads continue to plague the Twin Cities highways. The plunging temperatures are slowing the melting on the roads, no matter how much road salt is dumped on them, according to the Star Tribune. But, the roads are expected to be slightly better for Monday’s commute.

“The metro system is certainly still a challenge,” Kevin Gutknecht, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, told the Star Tribune. “I want to counsel patience. This is the worst compacted snow we’ve seen in a long time. Chemicals are slowly but surely starting to work. It just takes time with these ­temperatures.”

Gutknecht told the Star Tribune MnDOT has 200 plows working around the clock on metro roads putting down salt and trying to scrape the ice. The problem is the salt, which is the best tool according to Gutknecht, works best when temperatures are above 20 degrees.

The icy roads in Rochester have many concerned, but MnDOT representative Mike Dougherty told KAAL it just takes time.

"It's going to be a while before we get it off ... they're applying a lot of salt, some brine, which can start to work on it. The sunshine helps that work a little bit, they're scraping a little bit, but a couple of guys just said it's still a bouncy ride out there and they're trying to correct that but it just takes time," Dougherty told KAAL.

Blowing snow remained a problem in northern Minnesota on Saturday night into Sunday, which stalled the clean up process, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

The State Patrol has responded to 964 crashes, more than 2,300 vehicles off the road, 1,082 stalled vehicles, 74 jackknifed semitrailer trucks and 4,414 calls for service from Thursday through Saturday afternoon, according to the Star Tribune.

Snowplow drivers and veteran state troopers said the roads after Thursday’s winter storm were the worst they have seen in at least two decades, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

The winter storm was productive for some – a Minnesota State University research team is leading research on the best times and ways for MnDOT to lay down anti-icing liquid solutions and salt to get the most effective snow removal, according to the Mankato Free Press. They said Thursday's storm made perfect conditions for their research. At the end of winter they will analyze what methods work the best.

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