Representative Matt Claman's Alaska Matters
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Protecting Your Rights: Serving Sand Lake, Spenard, and Turnagain
September 30, 2016
In this issue:
• Winter Road Maintenance Information
• Winter Driving Safety
• Winterize Your Home
• Community Events
• Follow Us!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It’s good to get an early start preparing for wintertime in Alaska. I encourage you to take a look at the materials below to help you and your family have a safe and enjoyable winter season on the roads and at home.

Winter Road Maintenance Information

Winter is coming, and that means snow (hopefully)! As winter approaches, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities wants to notify communities about winter road maintenance changes. Here is what to expect:

1)     The time for the plow to get to your local road will take longer.

a.     Last year, ADOT&PF made public their road priority map. This is available on the web at

b.     Alaskans will notice the delay particularly on Priority 3 roads, which support most residential areas. In the past, ADOT could clear Priority 3 roads on the first day of snow/ice with authorized overtime (an operator clearing a Priority 1 road would plow a Priority 3 road after his/her shift was over). This schedule is no longer in effect because overtime is reserved for Priority 1 roads and the most urgent life/safety needs.

2)     Weather in Alaska is changing.

a.     From NOAA “For the third year in a row, Alaska’s winter has been anything but normal. A mostly dry and warmer-than-average winter has led to record-low snowfall amounts and record-high overnight low temperatures.”

b.     Warmer temperatures sound better, but it is a paradigm shift for ADOT&PF and the public—warmer temperatures mean slicker roads.

For example, Anchorage hasn’t had severe cold temperatures for several years, and 2014 became the first year without a day below 0°F. Even without measurable precipitation, road surfaces below freezing and air temperatures hovering around 32°F can result in a thin layer of ice on the asphalt.

As ADOT&PF prepares for a variety of possible winter maintenance conditions, they ask that drivers be prepared

Winter Driving Safety

Winterizing Your Vehicle

Your vehicle should be properly equipped for winter driving conditions and for potential emergencies. While drivers are advised to keep their vehicles in top operating condition all year round, it is especially important to get vehicles winterized. Read your owner’s manual and check the following: tire pressure, defroster & heater, battery & lights, motor oil, antifreeze, belts, hoses, filters, brakes, brake fluid, wiper blades and windshield washer fluid. A kit with extra provisions is also encouraged.
Here is a Winter Vehicle Emergency Kit list:

Winterizing Your Vehicle
Image offered by ADOT&PF

As of October 1st, all drivers will be permitted to operate a motor vehicle with studded tires on paved highways and roads. Even though the average date of Anchorage’s first measurable snowfall is October 16th, winter may come earlier. Last year’s first snowfall hit Anchorage streets on September 29th. With snow visible in the Chugach Mountains and overnight lows approaching freezing, it might be time to think about studded tires.

Helpful Safe Driving Tips

•        Drive with headlights on so others can see you
•        Drive for the conditions; reduce speeds and allow extra time to reach your destination
•        Know how long it will take for plows to reach your road by checking the priority level
•        Watch for snow removal equipment and give them plenty of room. Stay at least 200 feet
          back and don’t pass on the right. Snow removal equipment can cause white out conditions
          when driving too close
•        Leave plenty of room for stopping when roads are wet or icy
•        Wait it out: don’t rush into driving through adverse weather conditions

For a detailed list of driving tips offered by ADOT&PF, click here.

Staying Informed

There are many winter condition resources to assist Alaskans while navigating the roads. Here are a few helpful links:

•        511 – Driving Conditions or call 511
•        Road Weather Information Systems cameras to view specific corridors
•        Travel Resources

Winterize Your Home

Below are two useful graphics to help winterize your home and stay safe during the winter months: 

Winterize Your Home
Image offered by the Office of Emergency Management

Be Prepared for Winter
Image offered by the Office of Emergency Management

Click here to visit the Office of Emergency Management Winter Weather Preparedness website for additional information.

Community Events and Opportunities

October Community Council Meetings

Sand Lake – Monday, October 3rd, 6:30pm at Sand Lake Elementary. Click here for the website.

Spenard – Wednesday, October 5th, 6:30pm at the Spenard Rec Center. Click here for the website.

Turnagain – Thursday, October 6th, 7pm at Lake Hood Elementary. Click here for the website.

Last Spenard Farmers Market of the Season

Saturday, October 1st, 9am – 2pm at the windmill lot on Spenard Road between W. 25th and W. 26th

For their final market of the season, fresh Alaska-grown produce will be the main feature. There will also be artisan vendors, food, and live music.

Live. Work. Play. Community Summit

Monday, October 3rd, 8:30am – 3:30pm at the Hotel Captain Cook.

Live. Work. Play. is a strategic vision of AEDC’s Board of Directors, initiated in 2010, to promote economic growth and diversity in our city. Join fellow community leaders to discuss what Live. Work. Play. holds for the next five years. Click here for more details and to RSVP.


signed: Matt Claman

    Rep. Matt Claman

    P.S. follow me on Facebook and Twitter

Contact Information

(907) 465-4919

State Capitol Bldg. Rm 405
Juneau, Alaska 99801

Contact the Governor

550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1700
Anchorage, AK 99501
T (907) 269-7450 F (907) 269-7461
EMAIL: Governor Bill Walker


State Info (907) 269-5111

Serving the Anchorage Neighborhoods of
Sand Lake, Spenard, and Turnagain

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