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Public asked to report potholes

By Shannon Ballard 8:07 PM March 31, 2014

With potholes all over the roads, spring driving in Alaska can be an obstacle course.

“That’s the reason why they call it breakup,” said Anchorage resident Walter Hawkins.

Hawkins dodges huge craters when he drives to work.

“Very deep ones and a lot of them,” he said.

With the freeze/thaw cycle we have been in recently, potholes are getting bad in Anchorage.

If you see one, the municipality wants you to call it in so crews can fix the problem within 24 hours.

“I don’t look at them as complaints, I look at them as work orders,” said Shawn Knoedler, a heavy equipment operator for the muni.

Knoedler says street maintenance crews fill an average of about 50 to 100 potholes every day.

“These guys will start out first thing in the morning and spend about an hour or so making mix and then spend the rest of the day filling holes,” Knoedler said.

All the work now is about keeping people safe and saving money later.

“By us patching that hole there’s no more water in there and prevents anymore damage to the road happening,” Knoedler explained.

Potholes aren’t just a nuisance; they’re a legitimate problem. Bad roads for drivers mean flat tires and bent rims.

There’s a pothole hotline the muni wants you to call to report hazards. Hawkins says he’s done just that three times this month.

“I’d rather me call it in instead of having somebody get stuck out there,” Hawkins said. “It’s easy enough just to pick up the phone and let them know where the problem is at.”

Potholes are an inevitable part the season, but one person can make a difference.

To report a pothole, call the Pothole Hotline at 343-MEND (6363).

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