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City used double amount of sand on Edmonton streets this winter than last

City used double amount of sand on Edmonton streets this winter than last
WATCH ABOVE: If you noticed there's a lot of sand on our roads right now, you're right. More than double the amount was used this year over last. Now, city crews are working to sweep it all up. Kendra Slugoski reports.

If you thought there was way more sand on Edmonton roads this winter season, you were right. The city used 125,000 tonnes of sand this winter, compared to just 60,000 tonnes the year before.

Part of the reason? The city saw twice as much snow this winter as it did last year, officials said.

“Sand is part of living in a winter city,” said Eduardo Sosa, director of roadway maintenance.

While 125,000 tonnes of sand seems like a lot, it’s still below the annual average of 150,000 tonnes.

“This winter we had a bit more snow than last winter but still we put down less material than we did in the past.”

Edmonton crews started pre-sweeping a couple of weeks ago.

READ MORE: Edmonton spring street sweeping underway 

Now, crews are sweeping the boulevards, sidewalks and main arterial routes.

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Residential street sweeping will begin April 18.

“We are going to start asking residents to move their vehicles from the streets so they can provide our sweepers space so we can clean all the lanes,” Sosa said.

Despite the 125,000 tonnes of sand used this year, the city said it tries to reduce the amount of sand used every year.

This year, crews were testing out a pilot project using calcium chloride.

READ MORE: Sand and salt strategy saving money and environment: City of Edmonton 

Edmonton is also phasing out the use of rock chips in the sand mix. Drivers might notice some chips leftover, but the city is working to get a mix of just sand and salt.

“We had some sand mix left with rock chips but our program now is phasing it out,” Sosa said.

Edmonton also tries to reuse about 80 per cent of the sand mixture. The sand and gravel recycling program is currently under review.

READ MORE: Scathing report shows flaws in Edmonton’s multi-million dollar sand recycling program 

The city hopes to have all of Edmonton swept by June 1.

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Eduardo Sosa, director of roadway maintenance for the city of Edmonton.
Eduardo Sosa, director of roadway maintenance for the city of Edmonton. Kendra Slugoski, Global News
Edmonton road crews sweep streets in Riverdale, April 6, 2017.
Edmonton road crews sweep streets in Riverdale, April 6, 2017. Kendra Slugoski, Global News
Edmonton crews continue sweeping streets of sand, April 6, 2017.
Edmonton crews continue sweeping streets of sand, April 6, 2017. Kendra Slugoski, Global News
Edmonton road crews sweep streets in Riverdale, April 6, 2017.
Edmonton road crews sweep streets in Riverdale, April 6, 2017. Kendra Slugoski, Global News
Edmonton crews continue sweeping streets of sand, April 6, 2017.
Edmonton crews continue sweeping streets of sand, April 6, 2017. Kendra Slugoski, Global News
Edmonton road crews sweep streets in Riverdale, April 6, 2017.
Edmonton road crews sweep streets in Riverdale, April 6, 2017. Kendra Slugoski, Global News