Mat-Su Borough revisits rule that snowplowing contractors must remove tall berms

PALMER — Matanuska-Susitna Borough officials are considering new driveway snow berm policies, including a change that could no longer require plow operators to remove even those tall enough to block access.

Mat-Su, an area the size of West Virginia, uses private contractors to perform road maintenance in summer and plowing in winter.

Plows clearing neighborhood roads can leave dense, heavy berms at the end of driveways that residents are then forced to clear. Current Mat-Su road maintenance rules require contractors in the region’s 16 road service areas to remove any berms over 12 inches high if requested.

Under refreshed contracts out for bid now, however, borough public works officials could put in place one of three policies: no berm removal; continuing to remove only berms over 12 inches; or removing all berms.

Contractors will submit pricing for all three, and borough officials will select the option that best mixes cost with needs of the service area, public works officials told the borough assembly this month.

The changes will first affect the seven Mat-Su road service areas up for rebid this summer, which include Big Lake, Meadow Lakes, Talkeetna and neighborhoods off Knik-Goose Bay Road in Wasilla. The remaining nine service areas will fall under the new rules as those contracts come up for renewal.

The contracts opened for bids Feb. 9 and are set to close March 6.

Amy Bushatz

Amy Bushatz is a veteran journalist based in the Mat-Su covering Valley news for the ADN.