Spring means it's time to fix local roads
Most of us look forward to spring, but many people will find local roads a little bit rough. The snow has melted to reveal potholes, ruts and a lack of lines that can make it tough for drivers trying to stay in their lanes.
State Department of Transportation spokesperson Shannon McCarthy said some of those problems will be addressed when the Glenn Highway gets repaved this summer from Eklutna to the Parks Highway. In addition, crews will put new marking tape on the side of the road since the current tape is peeling off. McCarthy said the product was considered experimental when it was laid down several years ago. She added that the contractor was required to do any repairs.
"Over the years, it just kept on failing. They kept on having to repair it," said McCarthy. "So at the end of the contract, we both agreed that it didn't work."
Another experiment that hasn't worked out quite as planned was a special coating the DOT applied to selected roads around the state. McCarthy said the coating, designed to provide more traction and reduce crashes, has worn off faster than anticipated. She said it may still be effective in areas where there is less fast-moving traffic. The state is still studying crash results.
McCarthy said a frequent complaint in spring is that lane lines seem to have disappeared. That's particularly evident on a stretch of the Seward Highway where the DOT added new lanes between Dowling and Dimond.
"This is really common in the spring when we have a new project that was recently completed. Oftentimes we have to put down (temporary) paint. Especially with studs, and we have materials like sand, it can really grind away at that paint. This is the time of year when we are eager to get out and do the sweeping and the paint."
McCarthy said both should happen in the next few weeks. She also reminded drivers in the Anchorage area that their studded snow tires have to be off by May 1.
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