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MnDOT, landowners install first-of-its-kind snow fence

Submitted Landowners Aaron and Traci Fagen worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to make possible this permanent snowfence along a notorious curve on Highway 67 west of Granite Falls. 1 / 3
Submitted Landowners Aaron and Traci Fagen worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to make possible this permanent snowfence along a notorious curve on Highway 67 west of Granite Falls. 2 / 3
Submitted Landowners Aaron and Traci Fagen worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to make possible this permanent snowfence along a notorious curve on Highway 67 west of Granite Falls. 3 / 3

WILLMAR, Minn. — For as long as many can remember, winter winds and blowing snow have made a curve on Minnesota Highway 67 west of Granite Falls a problem area for motorists.

Those days may be over — and feature a first in North America.

Two local landowners have teamed up with the the Minnesota Department of Transportation in District 8 to improve safety on the notorious stretch by building a permanent snow fence.

Local landowners Aaron and Traci Fagen and MnDOT have installed a 1,500-foot fence, or approximately one-fourth mile, at a distance of 250 feet from the road. It is the first woven fence in Minnesota as well as North America, according to a news release from MnDOT.

This snow fence stands in the field year round and provides continual blowing snow control protection over the entire 15-year life of the agreement. The terms allow renewal of the agreement for an additional 15 years upon if the landowners and MnDOT agree to the extension.

MnDOT employees Kurt Oellien and Jeff Baker completed the installation in a week, once posts had been set for it. The fence cost $57,000.

"We are pleased to have played a part in helping to improve the road and driving conditions at this location of Highway 67 with the addition of the snow fence on our land to defer blowing snow during the winter months," said Aaron and Traci Fagen in the news release.

MnDOT District 8 worked closed with the Living Snow Fence Coordinator Dan Gullickson to make the project a reality.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

(320) 214-4335
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