Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Snow fence program

District 4

Snow fence program

About

  • MnDOT’s snow fence program is a partnership with landowners and farm operators to improve roadway safety and mobility for the traveling public. Partnership agreements are flexible and customizable, and MnDOT will work hand-in-hand with landowners to determine an agreed upon solution.
  • Currently, District 4 has 5.67 miles of corn rows, 1.5 miles of structural, and 14 miles of living fence protecting state highways from blowing and drifting snow.
  • The agency wants to partner to solve the almost 300 blowing snow problems in the district. These known problem areas where identified by MnDOT snow plow operators. Along these stretches, MnDOT will work with land owners to install one of three types of snow fences: structural, living (trees/shrubs) or vegetative (corn rows or hay bales).

    Structural snow fence with drift located on Interstate 94 and Highway 336.

Snow fence types

  • Structural - Composite rail snow fence. View live structural fence on I-94 (camera does not operate below 6 degrees).
    Structural snow fence and house on Hwy 10.
  • Living (trees/shrubs) - shrub row planting that matures to a 8 to 12-foot height with a grass component planted on either side to protect the shrubs from herbicide drift.
    Living snow fence in field on Highway 210 with trees and shrubs.
  • Vegetative (corn rows or hay bales) - Corn rows strategically left standing in the field over the winter months and harvested the following spring.
    Cornrow snow fence on Interstate 94.
  • Grading (earth work) - Raising the road profile, so it is 3 ft above the surrounding topography, constructing 4 ft or greater ditch depth, or widening the ditch bottom from a traditional 8 ft width to 30 ft or greater.
    Grading and earth work on Highway 10 and Highway 32.