News Flash

Wright County News

Posted on: February 8, 2021

Highway Department Warning Drivers About Black Ice Patches

This morning throughout the greater Twin Cities metro area, including Wright County, there were hundreds of crashes and spinouts despite a mere dusting of snow. The culprit? Black Ice.

Black Ice can be created by frozen drizzle and rain, but can also occur when temperatures drop in the double-digits below zero. Wright County Highway Maintenance Supervisor Steve Meyer explained how this phenomenon happens in Minnesota in the dead of winter – even without precipitation.

“In weather like this, it comes from car exhaust,” Meyer said. “With the amount of ethanol that we use in our gasoline, we get a lot of car exhaust. It’s most dangerous and noticeable at stop lights and roundabouts, because it starts to build up from the exhaust from the vehicles and it’s clear – making it difficult to see that the roadway is getting slippery.”

The Wright County Highway Department has been treating the areas where black ice is most likely to form – at intersections and areas like roundabouts where vehicles are running, but routinely need to stop or slow down considerably.

Meyer said the big trouble spots are when there is a crash or a stalled vehicle on the side of the road that forces traffic to stop or slow down. Warm exhaust hitting frigid air can cause the vapor to condense and literally drip out of a muffler. It’s much more of an issue in areas with stop-and-go traffic as opposed to rural roads and highways

“This type of black ice is more common in areas where there is a heavy volume of traffic and it’s either moving slowly or stopped,” Meyer said. “All that moisture created by the exhaust just drops on the road and freezes.”

Meyer said you won’t see traditional salting trucks out on the roads over the next week because road salt is ineffective when temperatures are as cold as we are experiencing. The Highway Department will treat trouble spots with liquid de-icers and a product called “Ice Slicer” – a granular product consisting of complex chlorides that last longer than most de-icing products and provides better traction for tires on slippery surfaces.

“It will be a problem for most of this week, especially during the day when the traffic volumes pick up for the morning commute,” Meyer said. “That’s when temperatures are at their coldest. It’s going to be an issue drivers will need to be aware of. The number of crashes and spinouts this morning throughout the metro area was way up from normal and it will likely be a problem until the weather warms up and this system works its way through.”

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Wright County News

Husom Named County Board Chair for 2022

Posted on: January 5, 2022

All County Offices Closed Friday, Dec. 24

Posted on: December 23, 2021

DNR Issues Guidelines for Being Out on Ice

Posted on: December 22, 2021

Passport Fee to Raise by $20 Next Week

Posted on: December 21, 2021

Unprecedented Weather Day Expected Today

Posted on: December 15, 2021

Random Drug Testing Request for Proposals

Posted on: December 14, 2021

Deadline to File for Homestead Approaching

Posted on: November 23, 2021

MnDOT Provides Update on I-94 Construction

Posted on: November 16, 2021

Santa Coming to Bertram Park Dec. 4

Posted on: November 3, 2021

License Center Camera System Down

Posted on: November 3, 2021

DNR Releases Updated Fall Color Map

Posted on: October 1, 2021

County Board Approves 2022 Preliminary Levy

Posted on: September 28, 2021

Second Half Property Taxes Due Oct. 15

Posted on: September 22, 2021

DPS Labor Day DWI Campaign a Success

Posted on: September 15, 2021

Public Health Releases COVID-19 Dashboard

Posted on: September 7, 2021

Extension Provides Crop Update

Posted on: August 23, 2021

DNR Releases 2021 Waterfowl Handbook

Posted on: August 10, 2021

MPCA Declares Air Quality Alert

Posted on: July 29, 2021

Veterans Career Fair Tomorrow

Posted on: July 28, 2021

Wright County Has Job Openings

Posted on: July 23, 2021

WCEDP Has Redesigned Website

Posted on: July 9, 2021

WOW Van in Monticello Today

Posted on: July 1, 2021

WOW Van Coming to Monticello July 1

Posted on: June 23, 2021

Wright County Fair Schedule Released

Posted on: June 21, 2021

Highway 30 Project Delayed

Posted on: June 1, 2021

May 9-15 Is National Police Week

Posted on: May 11, 2021

Appointments Open at License Center

Posted on: April 30, 2021

DNR EagleCam Up and Running

Posted on: April 27, 2021

Roadside Spraying

Posted on: April 22, 2021

DNR Has Interactive Bird Song Page

Posted on: April 21, 2021

Appointments Open at License Center

Posted on: April 2, 2021

First Half Property Taxes Due May 17

Posted on: April 1, 2021

I-94 Construction Ramping Up

Posted on: March 29, 2021

HHS Announces New Call Center

Posted on: March 26, 2021

First Half Property Taxes Due May 17

Posted on: March 24, 2021

Virtual Tour of Justice Center

Posted on: March 10, 2021

Fish Houses Must Be Off Lakes By Monday

Posted on: February 24, 2021

Two 4-H Summer Internships Available

Posted on: February 17, 2021

Members of Solar Farm Work Group Named

Posted on: February 16, 2021

I-35W Bridge to Glow Purple Tonight

Posted on: February 16, 2021

View Today's Press Conference

Posted on: February 11, 2021

Sheriff's Office Statement on Shooting

Posted on: February 9, 2021