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Limited travel on most highways in southeastern Minnesota

Fri, Feb 21st, 2014

ROCHESTER, Minn. – (10:30 a.m.) Drifting and compacted snow is making many highways in southeastern Minnesota dangerous, sometimes limiting traffic to a single lane, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Southbound Interstate 35 from Owatonna to Iowa remains closed at this hour, while Interstate 90 has re-opened between Dexter and Austin. The stretch of I-90 from the Stewartville-Highway 63 exit south of Rochester west to Dexter remains closed at this time, but is expected to open soon.

MnDOT and the Minnesota State Patrol have reopened southbound I-35 from Owatonna to the Iowa border after being shut down early Friday morning due to multiple vehicle crashes/stranded vehicles and per the request of the Iowa Department of Transportation. MnDOT snowplows are continuing to work on improving road conditions.

Other highways are temporarily closed because of weather conditions or vehicle crashes. MnDOT crews are working to remove snow and also waiting for disabled vehicles to be safely removed.

Motorists should plan accordingly. MnDOT’s no travel advisory for all of southeastern Minnesota continues because of hazardous driving conditions with blowing snow, icy patches and reduced visibility. The advisory is for Rice, Steele, Dodge, Mower, Freeborn, Goodhue, Olmsted, Fillmore, Houston, Winona and Wabasha counties.

Other interstate and state highways remain open at this hour, but MnDOT will continue to assess conditions in consultation with other agencies to determine if closures are merited.

Temporarily closed or impassable highways at this hour include:

•Highway 16 from Wykoff to Spring Valley

•Highway 30 east of I-35

•Highway 30 west of Rushford to Chatfield

•Highway 43 between Mabel and Rushford

•Highway 56 north of I-90 to Kenyon

•Highway 57 from Highway 14 to Wanamingo

•Highway 63 north of Oak Center

•Highway 63 south of Spring Valley

•Highway 74 north of St. Charles

•Highway 76 north of Caledonia

MnDOT snowplow operators are doing their part to make highways safe. Motorists should remember to:

Check road conditions at www.511mn.org or call 511; it takes time to get roads back to good driving conditions.

Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.

Stay back at least five car lengths behind the plow, far from the snow cloud.

Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They may also travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.

Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions. Snowplows typically move at slower speeds.

For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to www.mndot.gov/workzone.

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