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Mayor's Corner

Citizens asked to help report potholes

Posted 3/25/2011

With the arrival of spring imminent, I’d like to remind citizens of the tools available for reporting potholes on Anchorage roads.  We need the public’s help in identifying pothole problems and reporting them to the municipality for repair.

There are 1,400 miles of roads in our city and we’re working hard to repair the troubled areas. Our crews are working diligently to keep the roads clear and in good condition, but we still need citizens’ help in letting us know when they see hazards like potholes.

Municipal street maintenance crews are currently repairing potholes on MOA-maintained roads throughout Anchorage. Motorists who see hazardous potholes are encouraged to call the Pothole Hotline at 343-6363 (MEND) or visit the Street Maintenance website.  Upon notification, the goal of city crews is to have potholes repaired within 24 hours.

Residents are also asked to call the Street Maintenance division if they come upon unusually large or hazardous flooding on roads or at intersections. That number is 343-8277.

Potholes are caused by a combination of freezing and thawing cycles, creating and pushing cracks open in the road.  While repair crews are fixing the roads, drivers are encouraged to use the tips below and drive with caution.

Don’t overdrive your view on the road.  Drivers are responsible for being able to stop short and/or maneuver in any reasonable and predictable situation. At this time of year, potholes should not be a surprise to anyone. Keep a 12-second visual lead of the road and cars ahead.

Don’t tailgate. Too many drivers get so close to the vehicle in front of them, they have no time to react to potholes that suddenly appear from under the car ahead. Use the two-second rule. When the vehicle ahead of you passes a fixed object, it should take you two seconds to get to the same object.

Watch the vehicle ahead for clues. Are cars subtly or suddenly changing their path and/or hitting the brakes? Do the vehicles ahead suddenly drop a tire into a hole? This may indicate you need to think about your path and speed.

Avoid or slow down through pools of water.  Pools of water often conceal a pothole. Either attempt to avoid driving through the water, or drive at a speed that won’t damage your tires, rims or vehicle. If you are following another car at a safe distance, you may choose to follow the same path if it successfully crosses without incident.

Leave room to maneuver.  Consider your path so you have ample room to drop back or speed up to get away from other vehicles to allow you to change lanes if necessary.

Too late, you’re going to hit the pothole. If the pothole is unavoidable, below are some tips from a chief engineer of advanced technology for Goodyear:

  • Don’t brake. Go straight through and allow the tire to roll quickly over the hole. Braking puts more load on the front tires and can cause more damage.
  • Keep tires properly inflated. Goodyear suggests checking tire inflation at least once a month. Tires with low inflation can be “too soft” and can flex more than properly inflated tires.  This flexing can lead to tire and wheel damage.
  • Taller tires tend to survive potholes better than sporty, low-profile tires. There is less rubber in the low-aspect tires to cushion the blow of hitting the pothole.
    • Mayor's Corner
    • Mayor: Ethan Berkowitz
    • 632 W 6th Avenue, Suite 840, Anchorage, AK 99501
    • 907 343-7100