It's getting harder to find open rest stops in Minnesota

Posted at 9:29 AM on June 30, 2011 by Elizabeth Dunbar
Filed under: Roads and transportation

A listener called the newsroom early this morning to report "closed" signs outside of a rest area along Interstate 90 in southern Minnesota.

The shutdown isn't supposed to start until tomorrow, so I called MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht to find out what was going on.

He says shutting down the dozens of rest areas in the state is "a process," so a few in greater Minnesota were closed yesterday and even more are being closed today.

"The way we do that is we'll close down the entrance and then we need to wait for a period of time until a rest area gets cleared out, because people do use those rest areas to rest, and then we'll barricade the exits as well," Gutknecht said.

All rest areas will be closed by this evening.

Gutknecht says construction sites around the state will also "buttoned up" today because of the possible shutdown. And for Twin Cities commuters, congestion could be an issue tomorrow because ramp meters won't be working. Also, there won't be any way for people to check traffic conditions before leaving home because MnDOT traffic cameras will be off.

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