Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Anchorage Assembly hears challenges of snow removal

Snow removal in Anchorage during the historic snowfall of December was the topic of a work session of the Anchorage Assembly on Thursday.

Anchorage had the wettest December on record, with 41.2 inches of snow, combined with the fact that the snow was heavy and there were high winds that created drifting berms. It was the second snowiest December on record, coming up just shows of the 41.6 inches in December of 1955.

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Members of the Mayor Dave Bronson administration gave a report to members present at the work session that included these points, among others:

  • Crews continuing to work night and day, round the clock, widening the streets.
  • Crews are doing snow hauling right now. There is a limit on where snow can be dumped, which needs to be addressed by the Assembly.
  • The city brought on some additional crews to help with snow in cul-de-sacs, normally something they don’t work on until spring.
  • Focus right now is on doing snow hauling around the 34 elementary schools, as school starts Monday.
  • As of Thursday, the city and contractors have hauled 25,000 truckloads of snow, equalling almost 1/2 million cubic yards, and averaging 1,600 loads a day.
  • Normally, the municipality hauls 6,000 truckloads a year, but there have been 6,600 truckloads hauled already in 2023.
  • There are 30 graders, and on average day 25-28 are operating, with others in for maintenance.
  • The city has been able to hire more people. It started off with 50-60 , now up to 72 in the snow-removal work. The city is also using contractors.
  • The city has brought in more trucks to haul snow. The city has contracted with side-dump trucks, which can hold more snow.
  • The city has one equipment tech position it has not been able to fill. “We can’t find qualified candidates.”
  • The city doesn’t lack basic regular parts, but that situation is changing quickly, as across the country other entities are using same type of equipment and have faces snowy conditions.
  • The administration is working with the State for getting more snow dump sites, trying to limit the distance drivers must travel as they haul snow.
  • The administration has a draft ordinance to allow more private snow dump sites, for properties that are at least 30,000 square feet, and there would be snow dump height restrictions and other permitting issues that would need to be ironed out. There are not enough snow dump sites currently in the city for city, state, and private contractors who are clearing everything from roads to parking lots.
  • Typically, the city has an 84-hour plow-out goal for streets and neighborhoods. But that has a specific meaning: After is snows four inches, the city plows all major streets, and then will go into neighborhoods, which is when the 84-hour clock starts. But if it snows another four inches, the city will continue to clear streets and connectors, and may not get to neighborhoods.
  • The 84-hour rule does not apply to neighborhoods east of Lake Otis or in Eagle River.
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


    • Mark, are you calling us Whiner’s? You must not drive or think 3 weeks and still lanes that are closed is fine.

      The assembly is so woke that they feel guilty if they help move traffic. They want us on bikes or buses and do things like closing right had turn lanes or narrowing streets in the name of traffic calming.

      The last thing they want are more snow dumps or gas guzzling snow plows.

      The fix is simple, unfortunately so are the liberal assembly members.

  1. They’re making a basic mistake, thinking that he assembly cares about facts. Just passing gas into a hurricane.

  2. The Assembly interview for the temporary replacement for Eastside went rather well. The Eastside cares enough about their neighborhood to have a deep array of prospective temporary representatives. The assembly acted ably as journalists inquiring for the public interests. he mainstream media would not have bothered to lob any “hard” questions. It was worth watching this A.M. live. The closing comments were dutifully cut off by the quiscient, obedient av personnel as they realize the lack of need for public information since the publis’ US Constitutional rights are usurped by the conflicting charter which should be adjudicated in pertinent part and voided by the Sheriff’s department I believe.

  3. The Eastside candidates expressed interest and concern for Eastside snow removal problems among other things like “civility” etc. Some expressed interest only in the temporary representative position. Good luck.

  4. Really, I don’t know why anyone hasn’t yet thought to take a snow grader out and cruise around town with several of the assembly’s Marxist Nine members mounted on the front bumper, projecting forward — the combined, continuous and copious explusion of hot air would be enough to easily melt the snow and ice off every major Anchorage thoroughfare.

  5. Can the snow be dumped in front and of the Sullivan? It’s a virtual junkyard

    It’s been several winters since I lived in Anchorage. I don’t remember this level of snow when I did.

    Another nice thing about living in Juneau. Too much snow, dump it into the Gastineau Channel. Or in the driveway of your obnoxious neighbor who constantly spouts on about the wonders of Cathy Giessel.

      • Yep, because if there is one thing that is a dangerous pollutant and environmental hazard, it is water. And never mind that vast amounts of snow ALREADY fall directly into Cook Inlet.

  6. Great work efforts by the Municipality snow cleaning crews, remaining vigilant and steadfast, working long hours and doing so in a safe – efficient manner and, a great progress report by the Bronson Crew (Yes!, the facts are stunning and fantastic).
    Now(!!!), if only the Assembly members would put aside their petty politics and start working on behalf of Taxpayers, demonstrating true leadership and the willingness – ability to work together, towards a common goal of making Anchorage a top destination to reside, emblematic of Greatness.
    I will credit the Assembly with the competency to become leaders for Anchorage, but only time will tell if they exude the desire and willpower to do so.

  7. MOA needs more snow blowers to use right of way rather than trucking snow and adding more concentrated snow dumps

    • To blow the snow…. where exactly?
      Funny thing, snow. It does not just disappear. I has to go somewhere until it thaws in spring. But, blow it away from the road to… somewhere. Great plan.

      • My street is one lane in spots, plenty of ROW to blow the snow to. I understand why CBMTTek does not use a real name.

        • What difference does my username make Frank? IF that is really your name. How would anyone know?
          So… blow the snow to… the other lane of the ROW? How is that different than what you have now?

  8. I did a back of the napkin analysis, and to clear away an average of a five foot snow dump from all City roads would take something like 955,000 truck loads, assuming a 20 cubic yard dump truck is used. Now, let’s assume that 75% of the snow can be piled up on the side of the road and will not require trucking to get rid of it, that still leave almost a quarter million truck loads.
    It is unreasonable for anyone to think the municipality will be able to clear that much snow as quickly as everyone wants it cleared.

  9. This is the worse snow clearing in the Municipality in 45 years. Damn leftist assembly. How could they not know years before they were elected they should have procured more snow dumps?? No solutions, just finger pointing and name calling. Please move to the valley with the rest of the MAGA meth heads (feels great to just baselessly call people names, I see why you all do it lol). Bronson will be the last Republican mayor of Anchorage for a long, long time. Assembly has a hand in the failures but since Bronson is terrible, none of his clan got elected. His performance led the people of Anchorage to vote for these assembly members. If they wanted more of his BS, they would have voted for candidates to progress his agenda, but they didn’t. Democracy works.

    • Jeremiah Eneix,
      Calling people names and wishing they would move to he valley is not very nice, especially if you do business here in Anchorage.

      People, even us maga’s have legitimate complaints about the snow removal speed. There have been solutions.suggested here.

  10. I used to work for the city and i remember my “co-workers” letting politics into their job. There is no excuse not to do a good job, yet these union workers threw doing a quality job out the window to help punish us. There is about an 8-10 foot muni encroachment the plows should be utilizing to push snow, our yards be damned, we need the streets cleared. Do your job right! Theres no reason for this other than retaliation.

  11. Only a fool thinks the assembly actually cares about this. They are too busy with power and control issues to care about anything else.

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