Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

Carlton County Transportation Department 

With spring snow, county asks for patience


Colette Stadin

A snowplow clears the shoulder of Hwy. 61 outside of Moose Lake last week.

The following is a press release from Carlton County Engineer Mike Tardy regarding the challenges county snow removal teams face with late season snowfall.

"Though mid-April snow events like we've experienced recently are very rare, it can be difficult to understand why plowing service is not the same as it is during the winter. Please have patience as our crews attempt to perform winter duties during these spring time road conditions.

"Plowing snow this time of year, especially with the depth and weight of snow we're having, is extremely challenging. Due to the soft/thawed conditions and posted weight restrictions, there is significant risk of damaging gravel shoulders on blacktop roads and damaging entire gravel surfaces to the extent that they could become impassable for most vehicles for several days. Also, there is the potential for equipment damage and unsafe conditions for the operators when plow blades catch in soft surfaces, increasing the risk of rollover.

"To mitigate these challenges, county plow operators are driving much slower and are elevating the blade just above the gravel surfaces, which can be very difficult to do. As of now, we have had only one incident of a plow getting stuck.

"Here is an update of our snow plowing operations since the Thursday/Friday (April 11-12) snow event: On Saturday, available operators did the best they could on the gravel township roads. Sunday afternoon, more snow fell and drifted. Monday we started at 5 a.m. plowing pavements and continued to the county gravels later in the morning and throughout the afternoon. Township gravels may not (have been) done until Tuesday.

"Thank you for your consideration and patience as our plow operators perform their duties during these difficult conditions."


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