Alaska Department of Transportation Northern Region is responsible for over 2 thousand miles of roadways in the Interior.
This weekend's winter storm had the Interior snowed in on Sunday. With over 6 inches of snow in some areas the Alaska Department of Transportation Northern Region has been working on clearing the roads with a system they have in place to best serve the Interior.
Fairbanks Superintendent at DOT Dan Schacher says, "We do have a system. We have plow routes in place that have been based on average daily traffic for certain roads. Normally the core of Fairbanks has the highest concentration of traffic; we have some roads in Fairbanks that have 20 thousand cars a day on them, normally it's not the best to plow those roads in the daytime hours when the traffic is the heaviest."
Northern Region DOT collects data that helps them to figure out the higher traffic areas so they can plan their plowing operations accordingly.
The rural areas are assigned to DOT dayshift crews who work 7 days a week. Schacher said, “We have over 2 thousand miles of road to cover here in Fairbanks. So we have a lot of grounds to cover. Our goal is to cover all of our priority 1 roads, the high day high average daily traffic roads, the very importation roads, school roads, fire roads, different things like that within 24-hours."
Lastly, the folks at DOT say, the most important thing is for motorists to give the plows space to do their jobs.
Last year alone there were 12 incidents where plows were rear ended by public vehicles “Often times if you encounter one snow plow and you get around that one, there is another one there ahead of you because we plow in teams. So just give us the time to do our job we are trying to make thing better for the public and make things safer for everybody."