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Iowa City Crews Begin Street Sweeping

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Iowa City roadways saw more than 40 inches of snow and ice this past winter.

With spring here, crews are now working to clear the streets of all the left over sand.

Iowa City road crews began sweeping their streets about a week ago. They say its work that must be done.

This past winter came with lots of snow and lots of ice.

So, to help with traction, Iowa City crews sprinkled plenty of sand on the roads.

Now it's time to deal with the aftermath.

"We get out with the three sweeping units and start working on the main arterials and removing the sand that's accumulated from the previous snow and ice control methods, said John Sobaski, Iowa City Acting Superintendent of Streets.

It won't be easy though. Crews used more than three-thousand tons of concrete sand this winter, a huge difference from 2012 where they used 890 and 2011 where they used just 425 tons.

So far, they've removed about three-hundred tons during the street sweeping process. Something john Sobaski says is vital when it comes to keeping the city clean.

"You want to intercept those before it goes into the lakes and streams and plugs the sewers with the sediments and deposits, he said.

That's why the Iowa Department of Transportation is also hard at work.

"We do go up and sweep the roadways, sweep the shoulders anywhere we can and suck up as much of the sand that's fallen off as we can, said Cathy Cutler, Iowa DOT Transportation Planner.

While the DOT uses more brine and salt solutions than they do sand, the big goal is safety.

"It's very unattractive, it's not safe for two wheel vehicles so motorcyclists really appreciate it when we clean, Cutler said.

"It's safer for not only vehicles but then bicyclists and pedestrians, Sobaski said.

The rules for street sweeping are the same as when it snows.

Sobaski says residents should move their cars off the streets when they see crews working. This allows them to make a quick pass.
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