Mayor Reminds Citizens to Report Potholes
Hotline, website allow residents to report area potholes
Contact: Lindsey Spinelli
With the arrival of spring imminent, Street Maintenance crews are preparing for potholes, flooding and sweeping. Mayor Dan Sullivan reminds citizens of the tools available for reporting potholes on Anchorage roads and asked for the public’s help in identifying pothole problems and reporting them to the municipality for repair.
Street Maintenance crews have been working around the clock to remove snow from streets to ensure storm drain structures are accessible once temperatures rise in the coming days. In addition, crews are following the snow removal operation and thawing frozen storm drain structures with steam boilers. With the near-record snow fall this season Street Maintenance has also taken other measures to prepare for an above normal amount of water during break up. Additional pumps have been rented for the season and a large number of sand bags have been filled. Both are staged and ready for a quick response to problem areas if necessary. Our dispatch center will be staffed 7 days week to take calls related to flooding and potholes relaying that information to crews in the field as they come in.
“There are 1,400 miles of roads in our city and we’re working hard to repair the troubled areas,” Sullivan said. “Our crews are working diligently to keep the roads clear and in good condition, but we still need the public’s 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 http://www.muni.org/. Upon notification, the goal of city crews is to have potholes repaired within 24 hours.
Residents are also asked to call Street Maintenance at 343-8277 if they come upon unusually large or hazardous flooding on roads or at intersections.
While repair crews are fixing the roads, drivers are encouraged to use these tips and drive with caution.
Don’t overdrive your view of 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, here 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. It is suggests that you should check your 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.