Muni races to fill potholes before heavy snowfall
If vehicles could talk, they would complain as much as humans do about a number of potholes in the Anchorage area. The city's street maintenance crew is doing everything they can to patch up this very problem before we see any significant snowfall in the next several days.
Just about every street here in the city has at least one pothole. Wednesday morning, the crew filled in three separate potholes on Boundary Avenue alone. Street maintenance manager Paul Vanlandingham says his team has been quite busy lately.
"This year we have filled about 9,800 potholes to date, and from June until yesterday, we have filled about 5,600. So it's something we have been doing constantly," said Vanlandingham.
Luckily, the potholes weren't that deep, but still annoying for the people who drive up and down this street.
The men first used a propane torch to prepare the hole before filling it with a hot mix of recycled asphalt. Heavy equipment operator Shawn Knoedler calls this an important asset in the operation.
"We're saving the city a lot of money with doing that," said Knoedler. He went on to say, "We tell the contractors during the summer that they can bring in their broken asphalt from different projects. We pile that up and then we will reuse that during the winter time."
After filling in the hole, the hot patch is compacted down. Alaska's freeze and thawing weather cycles are mostly responsible for the craters in the roadway.
"Water got into it. So our main goal is to keep the water out of the asphalt," said Knoedler.
Vanlandingham says his crews try to fill them in as soon as 24-hours after they've been reported to the city's pothole hotline.
"That's why it's so important for the public to help us out," Vanlandingham said. "We try and get people out there all the time and looking for them."
Helping to keep the streets as smooth as they can be, and less damaging to our vehicles.
This has been a typical year when it comes to potholes here in Anchorage. The city will keep two crews on pothole patrol for the foreseeable future.
Vanlandingham went on to say potholes are just spread all over Anchorage, and definitely not concentrated to any parts of the city.