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Weather data sensors to be installed along northern Minn. highways

A highway with two solid yellow lines lined with pine trees disappears into a fog
Katie Moum
/
Unsplash

Each site is an environmental sensor station used to collect weather data like temperatures, wind speed, pavement conditions and visibility. The sites also offer camera views of the highway.

ST. PAUL — Motorists traveling in Northern Minnesota can expect to see crews installing new or upgrading Road Weather Information Systems stations this May, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Each site is an environmental sensor station used to collect weather data like temperatures, wind speed, pavement conditions and visibility. The sites also offer camera views of the highway.

MnDOT uses the data gathered from each site and camera images for supporting maintenance decisions. The information is also sent to the National Weather Service and MnDOT’s 511 traveler information system.

No detours are required for this project and work will be completed under traffic with flagging operations when lane closures are required for everyone’s safety, MnDOT stated.

The new weather information system locations include:

  • Highway 371 near Nisswa (Milepost 46.2), 
  • Interstate 35 near Moose Lake (Milepost 216), 
  • Highway 61 near Grand Marais (Milepost 110.8), 
  • Highway 61 near Schroeder (Milepost 78.9), 
  • Highway 1 near Stony River (Milepost 309.9), 
  • Highway 53 near Piedmont Avenue, Duluth (Milepost 2.7), 
  • Highway 2 near Solway (Milepost 99.7), 
  • Highway 1 near Warren (Milepost 11.5), 
  • Highway 11 near Karlstad (Milepost 37.7), and 
  • Highway 169 near Princeton (MP 176.9). 

Three current road weather information system sites will receive upgrades. The locations include Highway 61 near Grand Portage, Highway 38 near Marcell and Highway 171 near St. Vincent.

Once construction is complete, there will be 163 weather information system sites throughout Minnesota.

This project will cost $1.5 million and is scheduled to be complete in September, according to MnDOT. The contractor is Design Electric.