MnDOT spends $116 million during winter of 2020-21

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reports that between COVID-19 costs and snow removal, the winter of 2020-21 cost the department around $116 million.

“From daily health screenings and mask-wearing to new cleaning and safety practices, we looked at every aspect of our snow and ice operations to help keep our employees safe at work and all Minnesotans safe on the roads,” said MnDOT State Maintenance Engineer Steve Lund.

“I’m grateful to all of our tireless MnDOT employees for rising to the challenges of the past year, proving that we can adjust to drastic changes and still succeed.”

In the Northwest District, crews removed an average of 37.4″ of snowfall, the lowest snowfall amount in the state this last winter.

The past winter for this district cost around $9.5 million.

Statewide, the various winter events created a statewide Winter Severity Index score of 86, the lowest index score in the past five years.

With fewer and less severe winter events, MnDOT used less road salt and sand during the 2020-21 winter season compared to previous years.

The agency also exceeded bare lane target goals for all road classifications, achieving bare lane driving conditions 87% of the time after a snow event, according to a release.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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