Alaska extends studded-tire removal deadlines in wake of snowy winter

The double yellow line in the center of a road is almost completely covered in snow.
Snow covers almost an entire lane on University Drive on December 29, 2022. (Elyssa Loughlin/Alaska Public Media)

State officials have extended the deadline for Alaska drivers to remove their studded tires.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell announced the state extension on Wednesday afternoon due to prolonged snowy and icy weather. Drivers north of 60 degrees latitude now have until May 15 to remove studded tires. The includes communities from Seward north. The extended deadline for southern areas of the state, including Homer, Kodiak and Southeast Alaska, is May 1.

“Much of Alaska is experiencing prolonged winter weather after a heavy snow winter that has extended the ice season well into April,” Cockrell said in a statement. “This 15-day extension for the studded tire removal deadline will provide additional time to switch to regular tires without compromising safety.”

a studded-tire removal deadline map
A state map displaying 2023’s extended spring studded-tire removal deadlines for areas north and south of 60 degrees latitude. (Alaska Department of Public Safety)

Anchorage is still dealing with snow in berms built up during a trio of December storms, with heavy snowfall since and a series of roof collapses in recent months, including one which killed a woman in February at a South Anchorage exercise studio.

Mayor Dave Bronson’s office announced a matching extension to the municipality’s studded-tire deadline Wednesday.

“Anchorage Municipal Code prohibits drivers from using studded tires on their vehicles from May 1 – September 30 each year. Due to Anchorage’s prolonged winter weather conditions, and the State’s emergency order, drivers will be allowed to use studded tires until May 14, 2023,” said the city’s statement. “Starting May 15, 2023, it will be illegal to use studded tires in the Municipality.”

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