DOT focuses on clearing 'Priority 1' snowy roads

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Fairbanks has seen an unusually late start to the winter, but now that the snow is here, the Department of Transportation is working on Priority 1 roads. Caitlin Frye is the spokesperson for the Northern Region of DOT and she explains what this means.

"Our crews are focusing on the Priority 1 roads. So those are the most heavily trafficked roads with the high speed limits, and they are going to be trying to keep those maintained and open during this storm. If they have a chance they will go to the lower priority roads like Airport Way or some of the busy in town roads. But mostly focusing on those high traffic areas," she said.

Frye advises drivers to use the DOT website to find out when their road will be plowed.

"Some of those lower priority level roads, it could take up to a day and a half we expect, for us to get there for a normal storm," Frye said.

She adds that calling 511 or visiting 511.alaska.gov is the best way to access information about road conditions and see real time roadway cameras. Frye also wants to remind drivers that it is time to get into a winter driving mindset.

"Leave early, expect for your commute to take longer than it did when the roads were dry, go slower, leave lots of room in between you and the car in front of you and use your brakes gently," she said.

DOT crews will be working on the roads 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the winter.