BOISE -- With the finally warmer temperatures, you may have noticed a lot of street sweepers out and about. That's not a coincidence, and in fact it's something road crews must do after a winter storm.
Right now, road crews from the Ada County Highway District are trying to clean up almost every bit of the sand they put down during January's winter storms. Normally, they say they clean within 72 hours of putting the sand down, but this time, the freezing temperatures and ice sticking around prevented them from getting out until this week.
ACHD has had 17 sweeper trucks out at a time, working to pick up the sand and haul it away. Picking up the sand is a priority not just for looks, but because environmental regulations require it.
The reason for getting all that sand up, as much as we can, is for environmental purposes. We want to keep as much sand as we can out of the storm drain system, which goes into the river. We also want to do our part to help with air quality, and not contribute to poor air quality, Christine Myron, ACHD Spokesperson, said.
One of the truck supervisors explained the reason they especially need to pick up the sand is because it has some salt in it, and that cannot get into the water.
The goal is to remove as much sand as possible, so they keep track of how much they lay down, and how much they pick up, to try to get close. To give you an idea of how big this job is out here: This January, ACHD put down 11,000 cubic yards of sand, which is ten times more than the sand they used during all of last winter.
With that huge amount to clean up, crews say it will likely take at least two passes on each road to get the sand back up off the roads.