Cars waiting at a stoplight in Minnesota while it's snowing.

New Project: Have Minnesota’s Warmer Winters Increased the Number of Freeze Thaw Cycles?

Minnesota is experiencing warmer winters and an increase in freeze-thaw events may negatively impact pavement systems. However, the impacts of these recent climate changes on freeze-thaw cycles have not been well studied.

In a new project, researchers will study freeze-thaw events with the following objectives:


  1. Attempt to quantify the number of freeze-thaw events daily, monthly, and annually from historical temperature records, freeze gauges, and other data.
  2. Attempt to collect ground/pavement temperature and study its correlation with air temperature during freeze-thaw events.

Study results will help engineers, researchers, and decision-makers when adjusting for the lifecycle of pavements, preparing for potential additional maintenance, and properly allocating maintenance funds in pavement asset management practices for achieving operations and maintenance savings in response to recent winter climate changes in Minnesota.

This research will help MnDOT, as well as Minnesota county engineers, better manage their paved road systems.

Project Details

Details of the research study work plan and timeline are subject to change.

To receive email updates about this project, visit MnDOT’s Office of Research & Innovation to subscribe.

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