Downtown Anchorage still digging out while business owners wait

Shop owners and shoppers in downtown Anchorage are still digging out from underneath piles of snow.
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 6:11 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - In some parts of downtown Anchorage, it’s still a rough ride. According to Mayor Bronson spokesperson Hans Rodvik, the city hoped to have all streets cleared in downtown much earlier but it is having trouble finding contractors to take the snow away.

“There’s just been kind of a trucking crisis,” Rodvik said. “There’s a lot of guys that have retired over the last number of years, covid, people moving south, whatever the case might be, so we are just trying to find people to help us.”

In the meantime, some snow piles have gotten bigger, particularly near the curbs. Downtown businesses complain it’s tough for their customers to find a place to park on the street.

Hannah Schruf owns a woman’s clothing boutique called Weather near 7th and D Streets. She said a lack of snow removal has definitely kept customers away during what should be a busy time.

“It’s supposed to be holiday shopping, people are supposed to be excited to get out,” Schruf said. “And you know, you’d see people who happened to get down the road drive by, see the snow berm and just keep going.”

The city said it’s doing what it can, although it’s decided to suspend plowing and hauling snow downtown Wednesday night. Rodvik said the plan is to put those resources towards widening larger city streets ahead of what is expected to be another significant storm.

The work will resume Thursday night, when the city expects several new trucks will be on the road to haul snow. He added that the city is still looking for people who can help.

“If folks know of anyone with a dump truck, please give our Street Maintenance guys a call,” Rodvik said. “We’d love their help.”

“We will put them in touch with our contractor here that does the snow hauling downtown and get them to work,” he said.

He said the current plan is to have downtown cleared sometime Friday evening.

Those interested in assisting snow plowing efforts can call Street Maintenance at 907-343-8277.