Iowa gets its first automated snow gates - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa gets its first automated snow gates

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa's first automated snow gates are arriving just in time for winter.

The remote-controlled gates are being installed on Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 18 near Mason City, a stretch that sees some of the worst conditions.

In the past, road crews have gotten creative in closing the interstate, including parking two snowplows across the highway.

Willy Sorensen of the Iowa Department of Transportation says that puts snowplows in harm's way and motorists who tend to follow snowplows onto the interstate could be stranded.

Caution lights will alert drivers when the gates are being closed, and a streetlight will illuminate the gates.

The gates costs about $15,000 each and should be ready in January.

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