Welcome

This website is the home for tools and resources that can assist you in keeping your state and local roads clear of blowing and drifting snow and ice.

Background

The topography, land-use characteristics, and winter climate for much of Minnesota cause this area to be particularly vulnerable to blowing and drifting snow on roadways. This can reduce driver safety, degrade road quality, and increase snow removal costs. Research has shown that snow fences act as windbreaks, causing blowing snow to deposit on the landscape rather than on the roads. When comparing the cost of snow removal with living snow fences, an average benefit/cost ratio of 17:1 exemplifies the efficiency of this method, validating use in Minnesota.

News

Cost Benefit Web Tool

This online tool allows transportation agencies to estimate the return on investment of implementing blowing snow control practices such as living snow fences or standing corn rows on private lands.

Use the Cost Benefit Tool

Design Web Tool

Snow fences can help maintain clear roadways by capturing blowing snow upwind of a problem area and storing that snow over the winter season.

Use the Design Tool to design your own snow fence

Snow Control Cost-Benefit Tool: Interpreting Results from a Landowner's Perspective

June 15, 2018

This webinar recording explains how to interpret results of the blowing snow control cost-benefit calculator from the perspective of a landowner.

Presenter: David Smith, USDA, former Research Assistant, University of Minnesota


Snow Control Cost-Benefit Tool: Interpreting Results from an Agency’s Perspective

June 15, 2018

This webinar recording explains how to interpret results of the blowing snow control cost-benefit calculator from the perspective of an agency like the MnDOT.

Presenter: David Smith, USDA, former Research Assistant, University of Minnesota


U of M Research Puts Blowing Snow in Its Place

February 2017

An overview of three projects focused on living snow fences. Collectively, this work won the 2017 CTS Research Partnership Award.


Fences that Save: Cost-Effective Snow Control Tools

April 23, 2015

This video describes the standing corn rows program and the snow control tool calculator. The calculator allows MnDOT to determine which snow control measure will be most effective on a given stretch of roadway. Video produced by MnDOT Video Services.


Sponsors

This website is developed and maintained by the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies, with sponsorship from the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Contact Information

Center for Transportation Studies

200 Transportation & Safety Building, 511 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P:612-626-1077 | F:612-625-6381

cts@umn.edu | Location & Contact Information