Narrow bridges

Ask a Trooper: Icy bridges are often hard for drivers to see – Albert Lea Tribune

Question: I heard you talking about frozen bridges on the radio, can you please write about it?

Answer: The most dangerous threat from an icy bridge is its element of surprise: it catches drivers off guard. Although the main road may seem relatively safe, bridges, overpasses, and exit and entrance ramps may be icy. Drivers traveling on clear, dry days may not realize that the wind below bridges can quickly turn a thin layer of water or snow into ice. This is because a bridge is exposed to the air on all of its surfaces – above, below and on its sides. This causes it to lose heat faster than a normal road surface which only has an upper surface exposed to the air.

Troy Christianson

Approach bridges, overpasses and ramps with caution.

• Release the accelerator to gradually slow down. Never slam on your brakes.

• Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.

• Keep both hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, stay alert and remember that your seat belt is your best defense in the event of an accident.

You can avoid a ticket — and an accident — if you just buckle up, drive at safe speeds, be careful, and always drive sober. Help us lead Minnesota to zero deaths.

If you have any questions regarding Minnesota traffic laws or issues, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901-5848; or contact him at [email protected]

Troy Christianson is a Minnesota State Patrol Sergeant.