April snow brings challenges for early-season construction projects

Spring snowfall is not something many people like to see, especially if you run a baseball team or a construction business.

Just ask Dave Dvorak, who owns Dayco General Concrete and Masonry in Minneapolis. He said a normal April would see two projects going at once, though right now there's zero. 

"We don’t get this many calls this time of year with snow on the ground, because people just aren’t looking at their projects," he said. "All of our guys need to get going soon, because we can’t make this time up."

With winter overstaying its welcome this year, home construction businesses like Dayco are now dealing with the effects of a slowdown--and despite a few indoor projects, the bulk of firms are losing out on early-season business outdoors.

Dvorak is hoping to see that change this week with the arrival of warmer temperatures, though he says his crews will likely work Saturdays to make up for lost time.

Other types of construction, however, are pressing forward despite the conditions.

"Wet weather will definitely affect pavement work and road rebuilds, but bridge work and things like that we tend to continue on with," said Minnesota Department of Transportation's Director of Communications Kevin Gutknecht. 

Many big road repair projects have days built into their schedule for inclement weather and will likely not be impacted significantly by the recent delays alone. With a bright sun in the forecast helping to melt snow and ice faster, many are hoping for spring to arrive soon--though cold overnight temperatures can lead to freezing and slick conditions like those that led to a 20-car pile-up on the Mendota Heights Bridge Sunday. 

At the same time, MnDOT says it's ready for whatever Mother Nature may throw at us, rain, snow or shine.

"We’ve got plenty of salt, the crews are ready and the vehicles are ready," Gutknecht said. "Of course we’re also ready for winter to be over, we're ready for spring."