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Late spring means extended street sweeping program

The annual street sweeping program is underway in Greater Sudbury, with a fleet of vehicles finally able to get on the roadways and sidewalks to clear away the 60,000 metric tonnes of pickled sand that accumulated over the winter.
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After three complaint-filled years with a U.S.-based company, the city has three bidders seeking the spring street-cleaning contract. File photo.

The annual street sweeping program is underway in Greater Sudbury, with a fleet of vehicles finally able to get on the roadways and sidewalks to clear away the 60,000 metric tonnes of pickled sand that accumulated over the winter.

City crews and contractors have started sweeping sidewalks, boulevards, medians and some streets throughout the area. A release from the city says business centres and the Sudbury Rocks Marathon routes are areas of high priority. Once those areas are clear, crews will move on to other parts of the city.

The extended winter means there's still a huge job ahead for crews and residents, who are dealing with large amounts of sand in and around their homes. Speaking at city council last month, Ward 10 Frances Caldarelli asked city staff what residents can do to deal with it.

“At this time of year, everybody is extremely anxious to see the sand gone,” Caldarelli said. “A lot of people are sweeping their driveways, and sweeping the sidewalks in front of their homes. What are they supposed to do with the the sand?”

Many people sweep it into piles on the road because they don't know what else to do with it, she said.

“But if you leave it all together, the street sweepers really can't pick it up,” Caldarelli said. “And it's very, very heavy. I don't think we're supposed to put it in garbage bags, so I'm just not sure what to tell people.”

Tony Cecutti, the city's general manager of infrastructure, said avoiding sand piles is important, because it causes the street sweepers a lot of problems.

“If you make a big pile, you're right – it slows down the sweeping equipment and it tends to leave clumps,” Cecutti said. “At this time of year, there could be some ice forming under that … And people riding bikes or walking could trip on that pile of sand. It's a bit of a hazard.”

Instead, residents should try to sweep it away from their homes and onto the street.

“Just try to spread it out onto the roadway,” he said.

Historically in Sudbury, street sweeping starts in March or April and is completed by the end of May. However, given the late spring and the late start, “we will have a later completion date, as well,” the city said in a news release.

Anyone with questions about street sweeping or any other municipal service can call the city's main line at 311 for more information.The annual street sweeping program is underway in Greater Sudbury, with a fleet of vehicles finally able to get on the roadways and sidewalks to clear away the 60,000 metric tonnes of pickled sand that accumulated over the winter.

City crews and contractors have started sweeping sidewalks, boulevards, medians and some streets throughout the area. A release from the city says business centres and the Sudbury Rocks Marathon routes are areas of high priority. Once those areas are clear, crews will move on to other parts of the city.

The extended winter means there's still a huge job ahead for crews and residents, who are dealing with large amounts of sand in and around their homes. Speaking at city council last month, Ward 10 Frances Caldarelli asked city staff what residents can do to deal with it.

“At this time of year, everybody is extremely anxious to see the sand gone,” Caldarelli said. “A lot of people are sweeping their driveways, and sweeping the sidewalks in front of their homes. What are they supposed to do with the the sand?”

Many people sweep it into piles on the road because they don't know what else to do with it, she said.

“But if you leave it all together, the street sweepers really can't pick it up,” Caldarelli said. “And it's very, very heavy. I don't think we're supposed to put it in garbage bags, so I'm just not sure what to tell people.”

Tony Cecutti, the city's general manager of infrastructure, said avoiding sand piles is important, because it causes the street sweepers a lot of problems.

“If you make a big pile, you're right – it slows down the sweeping equipment and it tends to leave clumps,” Cecutti said. “At this time of year, there could be some ice forming under that … And people riding bikes or walking could trip on that pile of sand. It's a bit of a hazard.”

Instead, residents should try to sweep it away from their homes and onto the street.

“Just try to spread it out onto the roadway,” he said.

Historically in Sudbury, street sweeping starts in March or April and is completed by the end of May. However, given the late spring and the late start, “we will have a later completion date, as well,” the city said in a news release.

Anyone with questions about street sweeping or any other municipal service can call the city's main line at 311 for more information.

Sweeping facts

Two street sweeping contractors began work May 5, much later than the usual March or April start. That means sweeping will be finished later than the traditional target of the Victoria Day long weekend.
Bruell Contracting Ltd. will sweep streets in the Capreol, Hanmer, Val Caron, Chelmsford, Azilda and Lively areas.
A & G The Road Cleaners Ltd. will sweep the former City of Sudbury, Copper Cliff, New Sudbury, Garson, Falconbridge and Minnow Lake areas.
Both contractors are entering the first year of a three-year contract with the city.


Jonathan Migneault

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