MnDOT crews working overnights to fill potholes after long winter kept them on plows
WDAY News was out overnight with MnDOT crews, who are catching up on spring work on Interstate 94, Highway 10 and Highway 75.
MOORHEAD — While most of Moorhead was getting ready to call it a night, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) crews rolled into town like an armored division with lights, signs and workers ready to fill the hundreds of pot holes plaguing Highway 75 or Eighth Street.
It's not that there are more potholes this spring, it's just these crews were so busy plowing snow this winter they weren't able to get to them. The roads were so full of ice, they couldn't get out early to get the potholes filled.
"The long winter we had, we are a little behind in getting the roads patched," said MnDOT maintenance supervisor Jed Schoon. "Normally we'll do some of that stuff during the winter, but we were so busy plowing snow that we didn't have a chance to do a whole lot during the winter, so we are playing catch up."
With 41 deaths over the last five years in Minnesota construction sites, there is a reason MnDOT comes to work zones prepared.
"Safety, that is the most important and most difficult part of our job and that's why we're working overnights...right now. It's a little bit inconvenient to do this overnight but there's a lot less traffic and it's the safest way to do it," Schoon said.
Besides training, these workers rely on drivers to watch for lights, signs and attenuators, a huge crash cushion unit in case someone is speeding out of control near workers.
"The big crash cushion on the back of our trucks, so worst case scenario if there was an accident, they would hit that and the trailer would take the impact instead of one of our vehicles, pieces of equipment, or our crew," Schoon said.