Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Dec. 6, 2013

Orange barrels on a highway

MnDOT reminds public not to push snow on to roads


WILLMAR, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds the public that it is unlawful to deposit snow on or next to a public highway or street.

“Improperly placing snow on or near a public road creates hazards including drainage problems, drifting, sight obstruction and unsafe access,” said Craig Gertsema, MnDOT District 8 maintenance superintendent. “Special attention should be made to keep crosswalks, intersections, entrances and exits clean and unobstructed.”

Minnesota law and many local ordinances prohibit the plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing of snow on to public roads. This includes the ditch and right of way area along the roads.

Violations are considered misdemeanors, but civil penalties also apply if the placement of snow creates a hazard, such as a slippery area, frozen rut or bump, that contributes to a motor vehicle or pedestrian crash. The civil liability can extend to both the property owner and the person who placed the snow.

MnDOT maintenance crews plow and maintain about 12,000 miles of state highways and interstates in Minnesota.  In the 12-county MnDOT District 8 region, crews maintain nearly 3,000 lane miles of state and federal highways. 



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