Public Works Begins Next Phase Of Snow Removal

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - 2018 has been an exceptional year for snowfall, which has been keeping public works busy.
As the season changes to spring, so do clearing operations.
Julia Laude sat down with the Fairbanks Director of Public Works to get an update on snow removal.
Mayor Jim Matherly; City of Fairbanks>>: "Snow, snow and more snow. I mean I love the snow but I don't love it continuously for days and days and days."
Julia Laude; Reporting>>: This winter's amount of snowfall stands at over 80 inches, making it one of the highest in history.
It was enough for the city council to allocate more funds to get it cleared.
City Council>>: "On a motion to amend by increasing the temporary hires at Public Works by 50 million dollars, Ms. Rogers, yeah, Mr. Bagwill, yes, Ms. Therrien, yes, Mr. Pruhs, yes, Mr. Cleworth, yes, Ms. Huntington, yes."
Julia Laude; Reporting>>: But some don't think it's enough.
"Some residents are concerned that their roads haven't been taken care of."
Jeff Jacobson; Public Works Director>>: "2018 has been a pretty incredible season for snow storms. We've had an unprecedented amount of snow storms starting at the end January through February into March that have really somewhat hampered our snow operations. What you see then is the disparity in the neighborhood that those neighborhoods who got their second round of snow removal in February, had multiple snow storms adding to the snow so there was hard pack left in March where as those who had to wait until the end of March to get their snow pack, you see the streets being pretty much dry pavement because we were able to get it down to the pavement with our snow operations, as you drive around the city, you'll see some neighborhoods with dry pavement, others with ice pack. Everybody got the same level of service, it's just a matter of when they got it in comparison with the snow storms and that was something that was very hard for us to adjust to because no sooner would we pick up a neighborhood, then we'd get another eight inches of snow and it would undo everything we had just got done doing."
Julia Laude; Reporting>>: "Many of the snow dump locations were filled to capacity this year as well, but public works has a plan."
Jeff Jacobson; Public Works Director>>: "We started looking at our snow storage sites and what kind of capacity we had for expansion so we were able to acquire property to expand our Bently road snow storage site so this summer we'll be doing expansion work there. We're doing the same thing on South Cushman, we acquired some additional property there so we'll expand that site. Arctic Park last summer we expanded our snow storage site there so these expansion projects that we're doing is basically, when we have snow operations going on, reducing how much travel time are trucks will have to be enduring so we're looking at being smarter with our dollars and having our operations closer to our snow storage sites but first we have to look at acquiring new properties, expanding those sites and we have other projects that we'll be working on and coming online later on. The Lazelle Road area, we have a new storage site there, we have 30th Avenue we'll be bringing online in the next few years, we're just trying to strategically place the city as it grows and as our snow fall increases, we seem to be in an upward trend, that we have the capacity to handle all the snow we need to remove off of the streets."
Julia Laude; Reporting>>: Where snow once stood, now puddles have formed.
As the temperature continues to warm, Public Works has begun the next phase of clean up.
Employees will be out operating boiler trucks to drain pooled water.
This is Julia Laude reporting.
Public Works is also hiring staff to begin addressing potholes.
Residents are asked to call the dispatch line to report potholes and large pools of water.