A national pizza chain recently handed the city of Anchorage $5,000 to pave potholes and fix bumpy roads.
The money is part of a campaign by Domino’s Pizza called “Paving for Pizza,” which the company says is aimed at smoothing out roads across the United States for pizza travel.
“We launched the program to save carry-out pizzas and make sure they arrive safely for all our deliveries,” said Dani Bulger, a spokeswoman for Domino’s.
Since June 2018, the company has been giving $5,000 checks to cities in each state, based on online nominations, Bulger said.
As well as a flurry of national publicity, the campaign raised questions in the media about privatizing the country’s aging infrastructure. Anchorage officials say they aren’t complaining.
“If somebody wants to give us $5,000, usually we don’t just go, no, no thank you,” said Alan Czajkowski, the city’s public works director. “We’ll put it to good use.”
The money will pay for city labor and materials, Czajkowski said. Domino’s isn’t actually sending out pavers or crews.
But there will be branding at work. In Milford, Delaware, residents found asphalt patches stenciled with the Domino’s logo and the words “Oh yes we did,” CityLab reported.
Anchorage will also receive a stencil and spraypaint kit, Bulger said. City officials said to expect seeing the patches in the spring after breakup.
“We’ll be hitting some of the potholes and putting some of the stencil down,” said Jason Bockenstedt, deputy chief of staff for Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.
Anchorage will have to take at least two photographs of roads before and after the repairs are made and send them to Domino’s, according to a copy of a legal agreement the city signed to get the money.
Domino’s, meanwhile, agreed to “not portray the Municipality of Anchorage in a negative light, nor ... that the Municipality of Anchorage has difficult filling potholes/repairing roads or has an excessive number of potholes,” the legal document says.
The money could go a long way, Czajkowski said. He said the exact number of potholes that will be filled depends on the size of the pothole and the way it’s repaired. A fix costs anywhere from $50 to a few hundred dollars, Czajkowski said.
He said the weather can cause the number of potholes to range from hundreds to thousands in the spring. A larger-than-usual number have been filled in the past week because of warmer weather, Czajkowski said.
A map on the Domino’s website shows the paving efforts have varied wildly. Marion, Texas, reported fixing six potholes and repairing nine roads this past fall; Des Moines, Iowa fixed 200 potholes and repaired 40 roads a bit earlier in the year.