JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --
Spring is finally here, which means the weather in Alaska will fluctuate. This climate can create numerous problems on roads such as potholes. Whether Anchorage receives a mild winter or not, the weather makes a significant impact on roadways.
According to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, potholes result when water gets into and under asphalt.
“A pothole is a structural failure in the road’s surface,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Joseph Austin, 773rd Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and equipment section chief. “The most common causes stem from water penetration into the pavement’s subsurface. Traffic wear and tear, as well as freeze-and-thaw cycles can cause the pavements to shift, often resulting in surface cracking.”
Austin further explained that the cracks allow the intrusion of moisture, which affects the stability of the subsurface. This expedites the deterioration of the pavement’s surface at its weakest area, causing potholes in the roads.
The 773rd CES recommends drivers stay away from the road edges and increase following distance to give you ample time to react when there is a pothole, and to stay vigilant in areas with a lot of moisture on the road.
The average wait time for pothole repairs is between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on the location, time of day, safety, and the impact on traffic flow. However, upon initial notification, the crews have a 24 hour response time to make the repairs.
“Nobody likes to deal with potholes, but we ask, that if you see a crew working on the roads, that you give them respect by slowing down and giving them enough space to safely make repairs,” Austin said. “Being considerate as a motorist can help us do our job faster and much more safely.”
To report a pothole on either side of the installation, members can call 552-2994 or 552-2995, send an email to 773CES.CEOH.PotHoleRepair@us.af.mil. Aurora Housing residents, can call the help line at 753-1051 or 753-1091.