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.
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Now, crews are sweeping the boulevards, sidewalks and main arterial routes.
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.
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.
The city hopes to have all of Edmonton swept by June 1.