Wichita picking up pace on street sweeping

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Wichita, Kan. -- The signs of winter are still lingering on Wichita's streets. It's all that sand put down during February's snow storms.

The city of Wichita this week is out with an enhanced street sweeping schedule to pick up the pace on picking up the sand.

The city used 7,000 tons of sand to help motorists get better traction. It was an "unprecedented" amount says the city's Ben Nelson. Nelson, Wichita's Strategic Services Manager, says the exceptional cold temperatures, at the time, forced the city to use more sand because salt wasn't effective.

Nelson says, "The cleanup of that's been a little slower than we'd like. So we went to a 12 hour on, 12 hour off schedule so that we have our street sweeper operators running the street sweepers around the clock, six days a week."

"We thought originally we'd have everything cleaned up in mid-June. It looks like early June now. So we'll be able to shave off two or three weeks hopefully from the schedule to get everything cleaned up."

Nelson says the sand is a safety issue for motorcyclists and bicyclists. He also says the city doesn't want the sand to wash off into the storm sewers and clog drains.

He says the sand has too much debris in it to be used on city streets next winter. However, it will be used as a required cover at the city's demolition landfill.

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