Melting by Day and Hazardous by Night
Melting snow causes bad late night road conditions
ANCHORAGE - With warmer weather on the way, the streets are turning into a into a slushy mess by day and becoming hazardous at night. The State Department of Transportation (DOT) has crews working around the clock to keep roads in shape.
Around town it’s not hard to find people at work trying to thaw what Mother Nature has built up over the past few months..
“As the winter goes by the ice builds up further and further from the curb, so the water can't drain into the gutter. So we’re working to get the drains cleared of ice,” said Taylor Jernigan, a heavy equipment operator.
It creates a driving hazard when the melting snow has no where to go and builds up on the roadways. At night the puddle freezes over and makes the streets slick.
The DOT has other employees working around town to prevent roads from becoming even messier.
“They're out pushing back snow so we can get better drainage away from the roadway and in addition to that we're doing touch-ups on the sidewalks,” said DOT spokesperson Rick Feller.
Funding for all the snow removal projects comes out of the DOT’s annual budget. But this year it’s not enough. The DOT asked for more money twice this winter, totaling close to one million dollars. That will cover employee overtime, snow hauling and contractor expenses.
As the snow melts there are also potholes to deal with. “In Alaska it's an expected thing. It's part of the springtime rights of passage so to speak, we really value citizen input and we respond to it,” said Feller.
The Municipality of Anchorage also has crews doing thawing, snow removal and pothole operations. The street maintenance superintendent says the municipality is about four million dollars over budget compared to the same time last winter.
Drivers are asked to call the pothole hotline at 343-6363 (MEND) if they see a problem area.