Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Work Zone Safety


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Give them 3: Bikes are vehicles and can legally use the full travel lane. People driving should give people bicycling at least three feet when passing. It is Minnesota law.

Be predictable:  If you bike, ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars. Signal your turns and check behind you as well before making a turn or changing lanes.

Turning?: Always check for people walking and bicycling before making a turn.

Watch for each other: People who bike and people who drive should watch out for each other.

Pay attention when driving in work zones. A moment can save a life.

Fact #9: Distracted driving is a leading cause of fatal work zone crashes. A moment can save a life.

Fact#4: 82% of work zone fatalities involve drivers and passengers. A moment can save a life.

Fact#2: Speeding is a factor in 28% of fatal work zone crashes. A moment can save a life.

Fact #12: Speeding in work zones can land you a $300 fine. A moment can save a life.

Double your distance in work zones. A moment can save a life.

Follow posted speed limit signs in work zones. A moment can save a life.

Avoid distractions when driving in work zones. A moment can save a life.

Work zone safety is everyone's job. A moment can save a life.

Hang up!

Stay back stay alive

Stay Back Stay Alive graphic

Stay Back Stay Alive graphic

Stay Back Stay Alive graphic



If you are stuck in traffic, so are the snowplows. Drove 20 miles and didn't see a plow? They might be just out of site, ahead or behind you

Check 511.mn.org for the latest winter road conditions. Areas with a No Travel Advisory will always be purple.

Before a storm. Anti-icing is spraying salt brine on the roadway to keep snow and ice from bonding to the pavement. Anti-icing is similar to spraying oil in a frying pan to keep food from sticking. The salt solution prevents snow and ice from sticking to the pavement. This makes it easier to scrape off compacted snow and ice. De-icing chemicals break the bond between the pavement and ice once it has already formed. The chemicals improve the ability for snowplows to clear compacted ice and snow from the roadways. Road salt (sodium chloride) is most effective above 15 degrees. Magnesium and calcium chlorides are used down to -10 and -20 degrees respectively. Pre-wetting is a technique that involves mixing de-icing salt with salt brine to jump-start the melting process. Pre-wetting also helps salt stick to the pavement. Sugar beet juice or corn syrup are sometimes used for pre-wetting as a corrosion inhibitor and to help the material stay on the road.

Black ice, an invisible hazard, often forms on overpasses and bridges, where cold air circulates above and below the elevated surface. This hazard can also form when snow melts, or the pavement is heated from auto exhaust emissions and tire heat.

Ice forms on roadways when snow blows onto the surface and sticks. It melts and refreezes, creating icy patches. Rural areas with minimal ground cover to stop the wind often see “blow ice” form on highways.

During or after snowfall,  vehicle tires pack down snow on the road. If temps are below freezing, the compacted snow freezes and forms a layer of ice. As more snow falls, the cycle continues and the layer of ice thickens. Trucks continue to plow routes, but the blade is less effective on compacted snow. Salt does not work well when temps fall below 15 degrees. MnDOT owns multiple ice breakers that are highly effective. To see one in action, visit: YouTube.com/c/MnDOTvideos All methods are more effective once temps rise.

If your wheels begin to slip or spin while the cruise control is on, the car will rapidly accelerate to maintain a constant speed. This makes your vehicle hard to control.

Know before you go. Computer screen and cell phone show 511mn.org

Never assume a plow can see you. Stay at least 10 car lengths back.

More salt is not always the cure for slippery roads. 30-15 degrees: Salt works well in warmer winter conditions. 0-15 degrees: Salt takes longer to melt ice and roads refreeze faster as temps drop. 0 and below: Salt becomes much less effective at extremely low temps. Roads may remain slick until temps warm up.

Salt: Melts snow and ice when temps are below freezing; Loses effectiveness as temps drop; Keeps snow “workable” so it is easier to remove. Sand: Increases traction; Used in extreme cold when salt is less effective; Primarily used at intersections and ramps.

If it’s snowing: headlights on!

Winter traveler information. Make safer travel decisions this winter. Visit 511mn.org or call 511. Current winter road conditions; green: normal; blue: partially covered; pink: completely covered; purple: travel not advised. Traffic speeds; red and black: slow; green: fast. Red circle: road closure. Purple diamond with exclamation point: crash. Orange: traffic delay. Personalize your 511: traffic reports and images for the highways you travel most often. Rotating Images and Weather Data; blue thermometer: Weather data from weather stations statewide; gray camera icon: View live images from more than 800 traffic cameras across the state; gray snowplow: Over 200 MnDOT plows are equipped with dashboard cameras.