‘Where are the plows?’: Some residential areas yet to see plows on their streets

Municipal crews currently tandem plowing residential areas
‘Where are the plows?’: Some residential areas yet to see plows on their streets
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 9:20 PM AKST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2023 at 10:19 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - After the snowfall that Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has called “epic” proved to be a challenge for road clearing crews.

Municipal crews were behind schedule on plowing neighborhoods after helping the Department of Transportation clear some of the major state-maintained roadways. Bronson saw it as a priority, as those roads are how ambulances, fire trucks, buses and police provide resources to the community.

But now Bronson says it’s back to the business of the municipality.

“We plowed their streets and that is complete, our portion of that now, and we are in the neighborhoods until they’re done,” Bronson said.

According to the municipality, crews are still working on residential areas, with tandem plow trams following Plow Plan A. They expect to be 80% done with all neighborhoods by Thursday morning — barring a significant amount of snow overnight on Wednesday.

Some neighborhoods are still dealing with bad road conditions, leaving some residents wondering where the plows are.

Anchorage resident Leon Bradford has lived in the Independence Park area for 35 years and says the conditions in his neighborhood are worse this year than last year. Bradford wants to know, “Why can’t they plow?”

“They’re horrible, I’ve never seen anything like this. Where are the plow trucks? I don’t understand where the plow truck could be,” Bradford said. “We cant even leave our house.”

Bradford said the ruts are so bad near his driveway that he worried it may break one of his truck’s axels.

“Plow trucks came through and made one quick pass, one time like five days ago and its been so long. And they left a huge berm everywhere and didn’t do anything really,” Bradford said.

Bradford said their shared struggle has brought his community together, but he’s seen about 20 people this week who became stuck while driving in his neighborhood. He says even the trash collectors cant get through to empty the bins.

Calvin Mattingley has lived in Muldoon for about 25 years and was plowing his neighbors driveway himself on Wednesday.

“We have problems with people getting stuck, you know the road conditions,” Mattingley said. “It’s a few feet out there but people are getting stuck, and then people are trying to get around them, causing almost accidents.” He described an incident in his neighborhood in which flat-bed tow truck came to remove another vehicle stuck in the snow, but became stuck itself.

Mattingley said that’s a good reminder that residents need to be patient as crews work through the city.

“Give the right of way to heavy equipment,” Mattingley said. “There’s going to be problem all over Anchorage and the people have to be patient. It’s going to be a matter of time until the city can get to us and plow us out — it’s just patience, understanding.”

Mattingley says there’s no one to blame for the amount of snow we’ve received, especially with the small workforce of operators and large areas they’re working to plow.

“It’s just mother nature, it’s nobody’s fault — the poor guys that are behind the equipment, I bet you, are working countless hours, so thank them,” Mattingley said.

Nikki Terrini lives in East Anchorage resident near Duben Avenue. She said she was so relieved to finally see Municipal plows on Wednesday.

“We just had the plowers come by and we’re just making sure everything is smooth and not bumpy. It’s been one heck of a week trying to get things going,” Terrini said.

Terrini says she has spent this week trying to get her husbands car back into their driveway and helping those who’ve gotten stuck in their neighborhood. So far, they’ve had to do everything by hand.

“We’ve helped multiple people, especially in our section. I can’t imagine what everyone else is going through,” Terrini said.

More information about plowing, including the current status of residential areas, can be found on the municipal website.