Department of Transportation explains snow plowing priorities

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Winter would appear to be here to stay and that means the roads will have snow on them for months to come.

Department of Transportation trucks plow Airport Way. (John Dougherty/KTVF)

One of jobs of the Alaska Department of Transportation is to make sure State roads are plowed and safe to drive on. One of the ways they do this is by prioritizing which roads get plowed first.

Caitlin Frye with the Alaska DOT said that the winter road priority system is a way to communicate how they plow the roads.

The Alaska DOT has five priority levels for roads.

The Level 1 roads are plowed during snow storms, and include major roadways in the Fairbanks area like the Richardson Highway between Fairbanks and North Pole, the Mitchell Expressway and Johansen Expressway. According to DOT residents can expect those roads to be plowed within 12 hours after a winter storm.

Level 2 roads like College and University Ave are the next priority and are expected to be cleared within 18 hours of snowfall.

The levels continue to go down to Level 5 which are roads that don’t get plowed during the winter.

“This is to basically help the public understand how long they can expect it’s going to take for us to plow the roads that they drive on,” Frye said, “And also give us some targets for how quickly we are getting our roads plowed after a storm.”

The Department of Transportation has created a map online for people to know what type of road they live on. Frye said that if their roads aren’t on the map, they aren't maintained by the state.

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