, Director, CINRAM, Forest Resources
Snow and ice problems on Minnesota roadways represent close to $100 million annually in costs to MnDOT, in addition to the associated public safety and environmental costs. MnDOT and the University of Minnesota have collaborated to estimate the costs and benefits of snow control measures as well as the constraints that landowners face to adopt snow fences to con-trol snow ice problems. Benefits outweigh costs (often by a wide margin), but landowners are constrained by lack of knowledge and the real and perceived inconvenience of installing, main-taining, and farming around a snow fence. Landowners feel that the payments provided by MnDOT to install and maintain a snow fence are an important incentive but want more infor-mation about issues with installing and maintaining a snow fence from a trusted source, a peer, or a testimonial. The project goal is to promote greater adoption of measures to address blowing and drifting snow problems through greater landowner and public engagement. To move towards that goal, researchers will: 1) Carry out and prepare a minimum of 30 case stud-ies of landowners who have implemented snow control measures; 2) Enter the case studies into a computer- and smartphone-based program that can be accessed by MnDOT and land-owners; 3) Revise and improve a MnDOT snow fence inventory to assist MnDOT in identifying and reporting on snow fences; and 4) Develop curriculum and training materials for MnDOT personnel to prepare them for promoting snow control measures.