Minnesota Department of Transportation

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News releases

Dec. 28, 2021

Latest news releases

MnDOT asks west central Minnesota asks homeowners and businesses to avoid plowing snow onto sidewalks and roadways

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

“Placing snow on or near a public road creates hazards, including, drifting, sight obstruction, unsafe access and springtime drainage issues” said Kohl Skalin, Maintenance Superintendent. “Please 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 or sidewalks. 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 in District 4 plow and maintain over 3,550 miles of state highways in west central Minnesota.

For tips on safe winter driving, go to mndot.gov/workzone/winter.html.