Road Crews, Residents Prepare For Rough Road Conditions

Updated: 02/10/2013 2:06 PM By: Stephen Tellier

Road crews and residents are preparing for the incoming winter storm, and bracing for a rough ride the rest of the weekend.

Minnesota Department of Transportation officials said they've been concentrating mostly on typical trouble spots like bridges, overpasses, and hills, coating those areas with de-icing fluid since Thursday night. And while the heavy duty plowing has not yet begun, believe it or not, the snowblowing has.

"It's Minnesota. We're used to it," said Peggy Kelley, who was snowblowing her driveway in Arden Hill with her grandson, Tyler, on Saturday afternoon.

The Kelleys aren't phased by just any winter storm. But they're preparing for this one.

"We're taking and blowing out some of the snow before the next one comes," Kelley said. "Just because it's less to do when the others come. Also, if it sleets or anything ahead of time, it makes it a little easier."

MnDOT has a similar mentality: Do what you can now, to make life easier later. Crews have been pre-treating some spots since Thursday.

But on Saturday night, it was a wait-and-see mentality.

"At this point, we're just in a holding pattern, just waiting for the weather to move in," said Kent Barnard, with MnDOT.

So the salt pile sits, likely until early Sunday morning. Barnard said the shape of this storm, forecasted to arrive in waves, helps their cause.

"Actually, it's nice to get a respite in the middle of it. We can get back in and get the trucks refueled and get more salt in them and take a little bit of a break and then get back out there," Barnard said.

And that's a good thing, because people have places to be on Sunday.

"The little guy is wrestling in Monticello. So we are hoping that the roads aren't so bad we can't get there," Kelley said.

So while drivers dread the days ahead, at least one little wrestler is psyched for some snow.

"I just make snowmans," Tyler Kelley said.

Barnard said the other plus for this storm is that the bulk of it will hit over the weekend. Still, MnDOT officials already have their eyes on the Monday morning commute. They said they'll do everything possible to ensure a smooth and safe drive for everyone.