Downtown Anchorage still digs while business owners wait

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – It’s still a rough ride in some parts of downtown Anchorage. According to Hans Rodvik, a spokesman for the mayor of Bronson, the city wants to clear all streets downtown early, but has struggled to find contractors to remove the snow.

“There’s just been a trucking crisis,” Rodwick said. “Over the last few years, there’s been a lot of retirement, COVID, people moving south, whatever the situation is, so we’re just trying to find someone to help us.”

Meanwhile, some snowdrifts grew, especially along the roadside. Businesses in the city center have complained that their customers are having trouble finding on-street parking.

Hannah Schruf owns a womenswear boutique called Weather near 7th and D Streets. The lack of snow removal at a time when it should be busy is sure to put customers away, she said.

“It’s supposed to be holiday shopping, and people should be happy to hang out,” Schroof said. “And you know, you’ll see people who happen to come off the road drive by, see the snow berm, and move on.”

The city said it was doing what it could, despite its decision to suspend plowing and snow hauling downtown Wednesday night. Rodvik said the plan is to use those resources to widen larger city streets before another major storm is expected.

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

“If people know of someone with a dump truck, please call our street maintenance crew,” Rodvik said. “We’d love to have their help.”

“We’re going to put them in touch with our contractors who move the snow downtown and get them to work,” he said.

The current plan is to clear the city center sometime on Friday night, he said.

Those interested in assisting with snow removal efforts can contact Street Maintenance at 907-343-8277.

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