Road response inadequate

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 20:00

 Last Wednesday, as I was returning from Anchorage about 8:45 p.m., I ran into freezing rain at Hiland exit. Cautiously I continued only to find myself in the midst of a group of about 30 “ditch divers” and at least that many cars behind me. In total, I think we had about 80 cars trapped between the Hiland Exit and the ER Road.

Patiently, I pulled over and sat along with the other drivers believing that APD or DOT would respond in a reasonable time and we would be on our way.

Despite many calls to APD and DOT, we were truly trapped between Hiland and the Eagle River Road for about six hours. We waited that long for one DOT sand truck to arrive and he didn’t bring enough sand to make it to the Briggs Bridge. As he was leaving I asked the APD officer where the sander was going. I was told “back to Anchorage for more sand.” Back to Anchorage when DOT has a sand stash in Birchwood?

I do appreciate the young APD officer who finally arrived. He was polite, understanding, listened and most importantly quickly took charge of the situation. I have NO such kind words for DOT.

It appears DOT doesn’t consider Hiland Exit a priority to keep clear. What would happen if we really did have a major emergency in Eagle River? I would encourage anyone who was part of our elite trapped group to contact your state legislators, the mayor, APD and especially DOT and let them know your comments and concerns regarding their response.

~ Sherry Girard
Eagle River


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