Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Downtown Anchorage is still digging as business owners wait

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – In parts of downtown Anchorage, it’s still a tough commute. According to Mayor Bronson’s spokesman Hans Rodvik, the city had hoped to clear all downtown streets much earlier, but is having trouble finding contractors to remove the snow.

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

Meanwhile, some snowdrifts have gotten bigger, especially near curbs. Businesses in the city center complain that it is difficult for their customers to find a place to park on the street.

Hannah Schruf owns a women’s clothing boutique called Weather near 7th and D Streets. She said the 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 drive down the road, see the snow and just keep going.”

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

Work will resume Thursday evening, when the city expects some new trucks to be on the road to load the snow. He added that the city is still looking for people who can help.

“If people know anyone with a dump truck, please call our Street Maintenance guys,” Rodvik said. “We would like their help.”

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

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

Those interested in helping snow removal efforts can call Street Maintenance at 907-343-8277.

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