Sunday, December 23, 2007

MN's Department of Transportation, Snow Removal 

I live south of the Minnesota River, about a mile east of I 35. Though mostly retired, I also drive a significant amount. This fall I traveled from Lakeville to Energy Park in St. Paul on a regular basis to teach. This particular trip can be made a number of ways and I've driven all of them. What was a total surprise was how relatively easy it was to get through downtown Minneapolis on I 94. I had expected major gridlock after the I35 bridge collapse but never encountered the gridlock. There was much traffic but removing the shoulders and creating a fourth lane to get through downtown was a very smart move, one that kept traffic moving fairly well.

The second, again relatively successful rerouting of traffic is through the Crosstown/62 and 35W interchange construction project. This is a huge undertaking, long overdue, and will continue for quite some time. One is never quite sure from day to day how one will be routed through the maze, but DOT figures a way to make it work.

Our DOT takes a lot of heat, incredible criticism most of the time. I'd just like to say, they do some things well. Their ability to move snow is unsurpassed. Watching snowplow drivers do their job is like watching an art form: efficient and beautiful. Next time you are driving and the plows are doing their tandem snow removal, instead of getting frustrated, position yourself behind them and watch the show - it is truly fantastic!