The Drive: Decision to close a freeway not made lightly

  • Article by: Tim Harlow , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 25, 2013 - 12:05 PM

On the morning of March 15, a mix of snow and freezing precipitation turned Interstate 94 between Alexandria and Moorhead, Minn., to ice. Scores of vehicles landed in the ditch and at least three semitrailer trucks jackknifed. Authorities closed the 100-mile stretch of freeway for several hours.

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Lifeguard06Mar. 24, 13 5:35 PM

thats the problem in order for me not to have to use a vacation or sick day the highway has to be closed not the travel not advised. there isnt much difference between 1/4 mi and and 1/8.

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fwallenMar. 24, 13 5:38 PM

I always marvel at the folks in 4 WD vehicles passing me in my rear wheel driver. Only to find them in ditch down the road. Unless it's cold I don't stop!

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luxaeternaMar. 24, 13 7:17 PM

Interesting how they close roads because of dangerous conditions, but people are allowed to drive on partially frozen lakes. How many have fallen through the ice this winter and died? Why aren't lakes off-limits too?

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melabill2Mar. 24, 13 9:19 PM

Lifeguard: I am sure that even you would agree that safety of the public is more important than weather you lose a day of vacation or not. Think of the safety of others before you think of only your selfish wants.

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mdachsMar. 25, 1312:04 AM

luxaeterna, I continue to be amazed by the sheer stupidity of Minnesota people driving on lakes and lake channels and falling into freezing waters on thin ice - snowmobiling, cars, and trucks. When I lived in Illinois on the Fox River Valley chain of lakes in northeastern Illinois, we NEVER saw any news reports of people falling into freezing waters. Why is it that Minnesotans don't have any common sense regarding this? Do they really need to have the government manage this for them?

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r.u.4realMar. 25, 13 6:00 AM

going out on the ice to fish is just the Minnesota way. kind of like the Californian that goes out into shark infested waters on a slat of wood.

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owatonnabillMar. 25, 13 6:03 AM

Would those roads be closed if people had common sense? Back in the day owatonnabill never remembers any road being closed by the authorities: when roads were more or less impassable (usually drifted over) people had the brains not to challenge them. And if we WERE caught in a bad one, we slowed down, turned on the flashers and slogged through. The vehicles of the day had a higher clearance so could navigate more snow but the rear-wheel drive demanded a pretty light touch or all of a sudden you'd be doing figure eights. In this day of smart phones and information only a click or two away, there is never an excuse for not knowing ahead of time what you're going to be up against. Seems like the more info. we have, the dumber we get.

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awshucksMar. 25, 13 6:24 AM

re: "When I lived in Illinois on the Fox River Valley chain of lakes in northeastern Illinois, we NEVER saw any news reports of people falling into freezing waters" Probably because in northern Ill, freezing water seldom happens to the extent that you'd even want to CONSIDER going out there! Driving in that area I've seen open water in just about any month of the year. In mid and northen Minnesota, frozen water in the norm from late Nov thru early April. People get used to it and think ANY frozen water is safe - an often deadly mistake!

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atoonceMar. 25, 1312:37 PM

I think it is a great idea to close the roads when conditions warrant it. When you have to travel a significant distance, you really don't know how bad it's going to be 20, 30 or more miles down the road. If the state patrol know that it's that bad, than save me the grief.

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