Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

October 31, 2016

Orange barrels on a highway

MnDOT’s Rick Hruby retires after 30 years of public service

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Rick Hruby retired from the Minnesota Department of Transportation on Nov. 16 after 30 years of state service.

Rick began working for the state in 1986 and finished his career as a highway maintenance worker at the Thief River Falls truck station. A 30-year snow fighter, some of Hruby’s most vivid memories are from his time plowing and clearing roads.

“I’ll always remember the winter of 1996-97,” Hruby said. “The snow that fell that winter piled up and resembled small mountain ranges.”

In the spring many roads in northwestern Minnesota flooded and went under water. In Ada, the waters froze after a blizzard and Hruby went from plowing snow to moving ice.

“We had about 15 trucks hauling ice out of Ada, as every street in town had three to five feet of it,” Hruby reminisced. “It was a strange sight. There were no lights on in any of the buildings, no smoke from the chimneys, just ice. Everywhere.”

He will enjoy his retirement by spending more time with family and grandkids. He also looks forward to restoring vintage snowmobiles and a 1970 Ford Mustang.

“But the thing I will miss the most,” finished Hruby. “Is the people who come together and work as a team in the face of some of the worst weather just about anywhere in the United States. Thank you MnDOT for the opportunity, I have enjoyed my time and it’s gone by fast.”

District 2 comprises over 1,800 miles of state highways across 14 counties and employs approximately 220 people to handle snow and ice control, roadway construction, traffic, land acquisition, business operations, planning, design and other transportation-related duties.

You can learn more about MnDOT District 2, at www.mndot.gov/d2, and if you see an old snowmobile driving around in the middle of nowhere, or a blue 1970 Mustang, wave. It might be Rick.

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