Stud rush not yet seen

Motorists seem to be waiting until snow flies

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Motorists in central Kenai Peninsula communities ap-pear to be waiting for the snow to fly before changing over to studded snow tires this season.

One woman driving through Sterling on Tuesday morning may have waited too long.

Jennifer Albrecht, 23, of Anchorage, lost control of a 2004 Dodge pickup on black ice on the Moose River bridge at 9:42 a.m., according to Alaska State Troopers.

The vehicle went off the Sterling Highway and up onto an embankment before rolling onto its roof and sliding back down to the highway.

A passenger, Laura Boisacq, 33, also of Anchorage, received a broken ankle in the accident and was taken to Central Peninsula General Hospital by Central Emergency Services ambulance, according to Trooper John Cyr.

Cyr said the vehicle ended up half on and half off the roadway. No citations were issued.

Tire shops in Soldotna and Kenai report they are waiting for business.

"People seem to be putting it off this year," said Brian Curry, manager of Johnson's Tire Service in Soldotna.

"Right now the wait (to have studded tires mounted) is about one to two hours. When it snows, it will be six hours," he said.

Taft Davis, manager of Alyeska Tire in Kenai, also said business has been slow.

"I think everybody is waiting for the snow to fly," Davis said.

Both shops are in good shape in terms of tire inventory, saying they have plenty of snow tires in most popular sizes.

Davis said Alyeska also is "pretty good" on stud-less snow tires.

"Word of mouth has spread that they work really good," he said of the Bridgestone Blizzak.

The stud-free tires have become the choice for a number of motorists, who began switching to them last winter.

Instead of having metal studs, the tires have silica added to the tread to enhance performance on snow and ice.

Curry said car owners can expect to get about three winter seasons out of a set of regular studded tires.

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