Life As A Plow Driver for Minnesota Department Of Transportation
Even the most hearty Northlander is keeping their fingers crossed that we don't get as much of the wet heavy snow that they are predicting, but with the white stuff knocking on the door, we are all at the mercy of the plow drivers who work tirelessly to make the roads as clear as possible for those people that have to get into work or travel.
According to duluthmn.gov, the city of Duluth has 530 miles of roadway to clear during a storm with the priority being Snow Emergency routes first then plowing full neighborhoods. In case you ever wondered about the timeline the plows use:
- Priority 1 (Main Arterials) – 36 hours after the snowfall subsides
- Priority 2 (Residential) streets open to traffic (one lane) within 48 hours after the snowfall subsides
- Priority 3 (Alleys) opened and made passable within 56 hours after the snowfall subsides
But what is it like to be one of the snowplow drivers? Heather Davis, is a TH/Plow truck driver for MnDOT. She said that they have been ready since October and are locked and loaded and ready to hit the highway. She spoke with WDIO saying:
So our routes are fine and we here in the state have 24-hour coverage. So there’s two 12 hour shifts. And then we’re divided into routes. So we stay on our route and we do circles all night long. We attentively watch that route that we’re assigned around the clock, whether it’s me or my partner on their 12-hour shift.
According to mndot.org: " They plow 30,400 lane miles of state highways and interstates in Minnesota. MnDOT has 150 truck stations statewide, with 23 of those in the Twin Cities Metro area."
Davis went on to say please give the plows plenty of room and if you can stay behind them, their job is to remove the snow in front of you. They might be going a little slower than you expect but better to keep things safe. Thank you ahead of time to all the city plow drivers and MNDOT plow drivers as well. We know you have a really tough job and try to get the snow aside as quickly as possible.