Snow and Ice Control

Snow and Ice Control

For all the latest on snow emergencies in Mankato,
call 507-387-9001, 24-hour service.

Snow and ice season information

How Mankato's snow removal process works
View a video to learn about Mankato's snow removal process. When removing snow and ice from Mankato’s 250 miles of city streets (around 500 lane miles), planning and teamwork are key. Public works staff prepare for snow season and meet annually to discuss safety, review maps and assign drivers to routes located in one of Mankato’s 14 snow plow zones. Staff then drives their assigned route to identify opportunities to increase efficiencies when clearing snow.

When it snows, public works staff from streets, parks, utilities and maintenance all become part of the city’s snow and ice removal efforts. The goal is to clear snow from city streets as efficiently and quickly possible. A snow removal system is in place and it’s designed to be consistent, which helps residents know what to expect.

Prioritizing streets
Streets are prioritized by type and use:

  • Main roads first. What designates a main road?
    • emergency vehicles need clear roads to reach people who need help
    • high traffic counts--many drivers frequently use these roads to reach destinations, such as a workplace
    • city buses need to continue to provide service because riders rely on buses for transportation
  • Collector streets, which connect main roads and local streets, are next because they are the second busiest streets.
    • Residential roads are third because they have the least amount of traffic.

Once main streets are cleared, staff is assigned to clearing public sidewalks that are the city’s responsibility. Trails are also cleared of snow by city staff. Prioritizing streets helps keep staff on track and ensures roads are clear when emergencies occur.

De-icing efforts
Several of the trucks in Mankato's snow fleet have a unique salt monitoring system. This system reads pavement temperature and sends a signal back to the salt spreader telling it how much salt should be placed on the street. The goal is to use the minimum amount of salt for maximum results.

De-icing efforts also include re-use of seal coat chips (recycled from previous street projects) combined with salt. Using the chips enhances safety by providing more traction to vehicles, lessens how much salt is needed and results in an annual savings of around $10,000. Seal coat chips are typically removed in the spring as part of Mankato's street sweeping effort.

Safety gates--hill closures

Mankato road closure security gates
Streets Superintendent Joe Grabianowski works with other city officials, including public safety, to determine when to close the gates for safety.

To enhance safety, there are gate arms on Stadium Road and Monks and Parkway avenues.  City staff watch street conditions to determine when hills should be closed for the public's safety.  Generally, gates would be closed for a weather event.  When gates are lowered, it's important that vehicles not go on the hills for safety reasons, and doing so can result in a citation.  Although closing the hills doesn't happen very often, they are done when it's in the public's best interest to help increase safety and decrease traffic accidents in these areas.  Closures will not affect pedestrians and residents who need to get to their residences. 

Mankato snow emergencies


Watch a Mankato City Update featuring information on Mankato's snow emergencies.

Mankato's snow and ice removal workers keep a close eye on the weather. Staff's goal is to apply an anti-icing on the streets before snow falls and ice forms because anti-icing helps return streets to normal driving conditions faster and minimizes the need for overtime.

The city of Mankato will announce when a snow emergency will begin and end. During a snow emergency there is no parking on Mankato streets so snow can be removed quickly and efficiently. The only exception is streets posted "seasonal no parking" (which only affects a small amount of streets in Mankato).

How the "seasonal no parking" exception works: For people parked on "seasonal no parking" streets, move vehicles to the signed side of the street until the snow emergency expires. Once the snow emergency expires, return vehicles to the unsigned side of the street.

Temporary parking is available at no cost in the Mankato Place and Civic Center Parking ramps during snow emergencies. Parking is also allowed in yards during a snow emergency.

Consequences for vehicles not being removed from city streets during a snow emergency include ticketing and towing of the vehicle in violation. Towed vehicles can be reclaimed at All American Towing located at 465 Poplar Street in Mankato. Contact All American Towing at 507-345-5005.

When are snow emergencies called?
Generally, snow emergencies will be called after receiving 3 inches of snow and/or ice. The media will be notified, the 24-hour snow emergency line updated (507-387-9001) and email and text messages will be sent to those who subscribe. In addition, information is posted to Facebook and Twitter. Every reasonable attempt will be made to provide as much advance notice as possible before towing begins. Ideally, the need for any towing would be eliminated. 

Stay informed about Mankato snow emergencies:

Emergency response
During snow and ice conditions, emergency calls from police and fire are given top priority in snowplowing efforts. If an emergency situation arises during a snowfall or storm and the street is not passable, call 911.

"Seasonal no parking" streets (which only affects a small amount of streets in Mankato) are the only exception.  For people parked on the "seasonal no parking" streets, move vehicles to the signed side of the street until the snow emergency expires. Once the snow emergency expires, return vehicles to the legal side of the street.

Help us help you

  • Keep sidewalks shoveled for everyone's safety. Section 6.03 of the Mankato city code says that any accumulation of snow or ice on a public sidewalk is a public nuisance if it is not removed within 24 hours and property owners can be charged for its removal.
  • Relocate vehicles parked on Mankato streets every 24 hours to prevent towing.
  • Adopt a fire hydrant to keep it clear of snow. Doing so helps give firefighters efficient access in the event of a fire. Call the city of Mankato at 507-387-8577 to adopt a fire hydrant.
  • Call 911 to report the location and license plate of a vehicle that has been parked on a city street for more than 24 hours.
  • Snow and ice removal is a difficult and time-consuming job. Patience is appreciated as city staff works diligently to restore streets to normal winter driving conditions.
  • Shovels, snowblowers, sand and rock salt are all great items to have on hand during snow season.  Please do not shovel or blow snow on to Mankato streets.  It is a violation of city ordinance.

Going out of town?
This information may be helpful:

24-hour Minnesota Department of Transportation Travel Information

Minnesota Department of Transportation web site

Snow and ice control information

Snow emergency information (24 hour) 507-387-9001
Plowing, salting, snow routes, parking information 507-387-8600 or 311