Service Areas see deteriorating road conditions following winter storm

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 4:48 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Potholes, eroded edges and large cracks in the road: this is last winter’s legacy in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

“We’ve definitely had a number of road service areas that have been impacted very significantly by one, the winter storm and then two, the snow melt,” said borough mayor Bryce Ward.

Ward added that in many remote areas around the borough, the situation is dire, with “overflowing ditches, culverts that have been frozen from the winter rain, and that’s causing washouts and significant damage to the road bed.”

Some living in the hills can’t even navigate in or out of their driveways.

These regions of the borough are maintained by Service Areas.

Residents within each Service Area pay taxes toward road maintenance. According to Ward, “Each of our road service areas is their own taxing jurisdiction, and so the revenue that’s generated to pay for those road services are paid for by their residents.”

Now, many of these areas are out of money. Ward said, “A number of those service areas have either extinguished all of their existing operating budget and in some cases, that and their emergency reserves.”

According to Ward, there’s not much the borough can do, but they are looking into outside options. “We are having conversations with FEMA and the state emergency operations to talk about what options are available for our road service areas, but the options seem pretty slim.”

Meanwhile, residents can report road issues to their Service Area Commissioners using the borough’s reporting center.

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