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Drivers try to avoid crashes on 15th Street

By Lauren Maxwell 7:29 PM December 20, 2013

15 crashes reported since November

ANCHORAGE – Anchorage roads were treacherous Friday, and icy conditions were to blame.

Police had responded to more than 36 crashes by late afternoon. One particularly bad stretch of road is the section of 15th Avenue between Lake Otis Parkway and Sitka Street. There have been seven crashes there in the last week, three of them Friday morning.

Anchorage police Sgt. Jeff Morton said conditions there are bad, but drivers should expect that and drive accordingly. However, they must slow down and leave plenty of room, he cautioned.

“It’s very icy out and road conditions change literally from one block to the next,” Morton said. “You can go on one great stretch of highway and then go a quarter mile and find yourself in a whole new stretch of ice.”

One specific problem on that section of 15th is the ruts on both sides of the road. Drivers have a hard time staying in control and in their lanes, and several of the recent accidents involved drivers losing control and sliding into oncoming traffic.

The municipality said it’s aware of the problem and will respond with extra sanding and scraping. The long-term solution is to repave that section of road to get rid of the ruts. That’s been scheduled for next summer.

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