Search User Login Menu
Tools
Close
Close

News Minnesota

News/Minnesota
Lake Superior News Minnesota Region. Duluth, Cook County, Grand Marais, Lake County, St. Louis County, Carlton County, Itasca County, Koochiching County, Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota.

Latest News Minnesota

Navigating the Slippery Slope of Winter Road Maintenance

Navigating the Slippery Slope of Winter Road Maintenance

County Connections :Highway Engineer

COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA November 30, 2019  (LSN) With the change in seasons comes questions about Cook County’s current use of salt-sand mix to treat icy roads.

Thankfully, Minnesota has a strong and nationally-respected road research community working to address this issue.

Each year Minnesota cities and counties dedicate a small percentage of statewide funds ($4 million in 2019) to an annual program administered by a committee known as the Local Road Research Board, or LRRB. Currently, the LRRB and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) are cooperatively researching road salt alternatives and chloride reduction options, including potassium acetate, and equipment alternatives such as reversible plows and a v-shaped slurry spreader.

Unfortunately, prior studies have not yielded any viable alternatives.  In 2017, a LRRB-supported research project led by Montana State University’s Western Transportation Institute concluded that environmental impact, product cost, application method, or a combination of these three barriers prohibits widespread use of several road salt alternatives used on airport runways and bridges, including potassium acetate, sodium acetate, potassium formate, sodium formate, urea, glycol-based deicers and succinate-based deicers. With that information in hand, Minnesota’s road maintenance professionals continue to search for an effective and affordable road salt alternative.

Will any of this work lead to changing Cook County’s winter maintenance practices?  Perhaps someday.  The crux is that, in addition to looking at product cost and potential environmental impacts, the highway department must consider effectiveness on low-traffic roads and increased equipment costs before proposing use of any road salt alternative.  For example, the anti-icing brine applied to some high-traffic freeways may not work as effectively on a shady, low-traffic highway that is not plowed as frequently.  Additionally, ordering different shapes of boxes or other equipment add-ons for county plow trucks could limit our ability to efficiently haul gravel during the summer maintenance season.

As we continue to investigate viable options, Cook County meets public safety needs and minimizes road salt use by applying a mix of seven to 10 percent sodium chloride and 90 to 93 percent fine-grained sand.  This mixing ratio, combined with comparatively lower traffic levels, leads to a reduced risk of toxic chloride concentrations in local lakes, rivers, and streams, as compared to metropolitan areas where road maintenance agencies regularly apply 50 percent or greater chloride mixes. In an average winter, Cook County uses 200 to 250 tons of road salt on its paved highways. (Road salt is rarely applied on gravel roads.)  On the other end of the spectrum, Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, Scott, and Dakota Counties each apply thousands of tons of road salt each winter.

We understand that winter road maintenance is a complex issue. Cook County is committed to public safety and environmental stewardship, and we continually strive to improve our service in both these areas. If you have questions about this, other county road issues or research funding ideas, please call us at 218-387-3014.

If you travel on a road that appears to need attention outside of normal business hours, we ask you to call the Cook County Sheriff’s Office at 218-387-3030.  The sheriff’s office will follow up with highway department staff. We are fortunate to have a hard-working team of 15 maintenance workers and mechanics who dedicate many hours away from their families to provide winter maintenance services for residents and visitors.

Lastly, the highway department thanks everyone who drives vigilantly, especially during the winter season. Snow removal equipment operates with significantly larger blind spots than an automobile, and plow or grader drivers sometimes operate in reverse to adequately push snowbanks or spread salt-sand mix at an intersection. Please give them room – at least five car lengths – and use extra caution when approaching or meeting any snow removal equipment. By working together, we can navigate the slippery slope of winter road maintenance and better prepare for the winters to come.

For more information on this and other county highway issues, visit the highway department’s page at https://co.cook.mn.us. Information on statewide road conditions is available on MnDOT’s 511 statewide travel and road condition site, https://www.511mn.org/.

By: Cook County Highway Engineer Krysten Foster

County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service.

 

About Cook County Minnesota

Cook Country Minnesota   Lake Superior News

Cook County is at the tip of Minnesota's Arrowhead region in the remote northeastern part of the state, stretching from the shores of Lake Superior to the US-Canada border. By land it borders Ontario, Canada to the north, and Lake County, MN to the west.  The highest point in Minnesota, Eagle Mountain is 2,301 feet and the highest lake,  Total Area equals 3,339.72 sq miles

Cook County is home to three national protected areas:
Grand Portage National Monument
Superior National Forest
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Cook County include:
 Grand Marais     Lutsen Mountains
 Gunflint Trail      Superior Hiking Trail
 Grand Portage 


Snow Levels Minnesota
Snow Depth  Minnesota   Lake Superior News

Print

Minnesota Events Calendar

«October 2021»
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
27282930123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
1234567

Text/HTML

Banners

Follow LSN on Twitter

Latest News

No content

A problem occurred while loading content.

Previous Next

Latest News

First baby of 2021

Drew Douglas Stratton born War Memorial Hospital

Robert McKenzie 0 4895 Article rating: No rating

SAULT STE MARIE, MICHIGAN ~~~~~~  January 5, 2020 (LSN)  War Memorial Hospital welcomed the first baby of 2021, on Friday, January 1. Drew Douglas Stratton was born at 3:59 pm to parents Corey & Hannah Stratton of Sault Ste. Marie.

#LSN_MiNews  #LSN_Health

 

SAULT BLUES SOCIETY PRESENTS VIRTUAL BLUES MINISERIES

Robert McKenzie 0 8014 Article rating: No rating

SAULT STE MARIE, ONTARIO  ~~~~~~  December 31, 2020 (LSN)  2020 was the 10th anniversary of the Sault Blues Society. The Executive had discussed and was working with Rotary Sault Ste. Marie to present an “all blues stage night” as part of Rotaryfest 2020. We had also been in contact with 4 traveling bands that were routing through the Soo in 2020 to work out the possibility of performing for the fine blues fans of the Soo. Unfortunately, these acts were not possible due to the worldwide COVID pandemic. We hope that you enjoy our Virtual Blues Miniseries with the expectations of live performances to return to local stages in the future!!

#LSN_SSM  #LSN_Arts 

Pandemic Forces Thief River Falls Norskies and Wisconsin Lumberjacks

from the 2020-21 SIJHL season.

Robert McKenzie 0 7722 Article rating: No rating

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~  December 28, 2020 (LSN)  The Superior International Junior Hockey League is announcing today that the Thief River Falls Norskies and the Wisconsin Lumberjacks are pausing their activities for the 2020-21 SIJHL season due to restrictions arising from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“This is a sad day for the Norskies, the Lumberjacks and indeed the entire SIJHL,” said League Commissioner Darrin Nicholas.

#LSN_Sports #LSN_MNNews

STEP INTO THE NEW YEAR WITH A FIRST DAY HIKE

OUTWIGO TO WISCONSIN STATE PARKS

Robert McKenzie 0 4970 Article rating: No rating

MADISON, WISCONSIN ~~~~~~ December 26, 2020 (LSN)  Celebrate the new year by stepping into nature with a First Day Hike. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will join the adventure sponsored by America’s State Parks on New Year's Day for the 10th year in a row.

#LSN_Wis  #LSN_Outdoors 

As 2020 Comes to a Close Grand Marais Art Colony

The State of the Art Colony with Lyla and Ruth

Robert McKenzie 0 8318 Article rating: No rating

COOK COUNTRY, MINNESOTA ~~~~~~ December 26, 2020 (LSN)  We do not need to tell you that it has been a long year. We've all felt it in our own ways and carried through as best we could. And in the midst, we hope you, like us, have found small and greater gifts that came as precious surprises and means of encouraging us forward.
 

#LSN_CookCounty  #LSN_Art  #LSN_CircleTour

CBP Detroit Nets Quarter-Ton of Marijuana

James Brown 0 5834 Article rating: No rating

DETROIT, MICHIGAN ~~~~~~  December 3, 2020 (LSN)   Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) seized nearly 500 pounds marijuana at the Fort Street Cargo Facility on Monday.

At entry, the tractor trailer was referred to the secondary inspection area for a more in-depth examination of the cargo, which was manifested as peat moss.

#LSN_PublicSafety  #LSN_HomelandSecurity  #LSN_MiNews

Baldwin Murkowski Bipartisan Digital Coast Act Passes Congress

Legislation aids shoreline communities

Robert McKenzie 0 9047 Article rating: No rating

WASHINGTON, D.C. ~~~~~   December 3, 2020 (LSN) Today, bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) passed the United States Senate. The Digital Coast Act will help shoreline communities along the Great Lakes and ocean coasts better prepare for storms, cope with varying water levels and strengthen economic development efforts. Following today’s action, the bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. 

#LSN_WiscNews #LSN_Outdoors

Remainder of TBSO’s 2020 Concerts Move to Online Only

Robert McKenzie 0 10110 Article rating: No rating

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~  November 24, 2020 (LSN)   In response to the increasing COVID-19 case numbers in the Thunder Bay region, the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra will be transitioning the remainder of their 2020 concerts scheduled for December 3, 4, 17 & 18 to perform for digital audiences only.

#LSN_TBay  #LSN_Arts 

Avoid Placing Deer Stands In Ash Trees

ash trees that are dead or dying from emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation

Robert McKenzie 0 9516 Article rating: No rating

MADISON, WISCONSIN  ~~~~~  November 12, 2020 (LSN)  With deer season underway, and the 9-day gun deer season fast approaching, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters to avoid placing deer stands in or near ash trees.

#LSN_WiscNews  #LSN_Outdoors

 

CHANGE TO COVID-19 CASE INVESTIGATIONS

CHIPPEWA COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Robert McKenzie 0 8305 Article rating: No rating

CHIPPEWA COUNTY, COUNTY, MICHIGAN  ~~~~~  November 13, 2020 (LSN)  Chippewa Health Department (CCHD) is alerting the public that due to the extreme increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Chippewa county, case investigations conducted with individuals will now be prioritized based on risk. CCHD staff is unable to conduct full case investigations with every case and will focus on cases identified in congregate living facilities, K-12 schools, healthcare workers, first responders and the elderly

#LSN_MiNews #LSN_Health

First34568101112Last

Banners

Lake Superior News
Grand Portage Minnesota

Lake Superior Media

Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Northern Ontario
 

Send Media Releases to:
[email protected]

Lake Superior News

Thunder Bay, Ontario
 

[email protected]

 

    You Tube Lake Superior News   Twitter Lake Superior New  Face Book Lake Superior News

Website Powered by DNN 4 Less

Copyright 2007 ~ 2021 Lake Superior Media.
Back To Top