Minnesota DOT, and U of Minnesota team up to place more snow fences in rural areas

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is taking steps to install more snow fences as a way to improve roadway safety and reduce the need for plowing and deicing.

An MnDOT program offers landowners compensation for snow fences, including $1,000 or more for leaving corn rows standing at the edges of fields for use as “living snow fences.” But there’s been limited adoption of this program by landowners, according to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies.

To ramp up participation, MnDOT turned to the U of M’s Center for Integrated Natural Resource and Agricultural Management (CINRAM) and U of M Extension to develop and test a snow-fence outreach program.

The research team piloted it in one MnDOT district, then worked with MnDOT to prepare an outreach plan for remaining district offices.