(Melrose, MN) -- A four-mile segment of eastbound Interstate 94 in western Stearns County was closed much of Wednesday afternoon due to a crash, which prompted a rerouting of traffic.
Various sources indicate that the crash involved a semi trailer and a MnDOT snowplow that was performing snow removal and maintenance operations between Sauk Centre and Melrose in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 94. Those lanes of I-94 were closed between mileposts 131 and 135 around 2:00 Wednesday afternoon. The four-mile stretch of eastbound I-94 stayed closed for more than three hours, as officials tended to the vehicles involved and cleaned up debris that littered the highway and adjacent shoulder areas at the crash site. Reports indicate that the plow driver had no injuries, while the driver of the semi was treated for minor injuries.
According to the 511mn.org web site, the detour for eastbound Interstate 94 traffic after the crash included Minnesota Highway 4, with Stearns County Road 186 also used for the detour into the city of Melrose. Motorists using the detour route then rejoined eastbound I-94 at the Melrose exit.
MnDOT reminds motorists that, because snowplows out performing maintenance and plowing operations typically travel at speeds of 30 miles an hour, caution should be strongly exercised when nearing them on the roads, giving the plows plenty of room to operate.
Much of central Minnesota received a half a foot or more of snow from the system that passed through on Wednesday, with another possibility of significant snow for this coming weekend.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota State Patrol contributed to this story.