Public Works crews spread 500 tons of sand on city streets

mowen@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 30, 2014 

Over a period of about 48 hours this week, city Public Works crews put down about 500 tons of sand on icy Columbus streets, Director Pat Biegler said.

Crews can still be seen putting down sand around town, but the calls to the city about problem areas are “slowly petering out,” Biegler said, but added that workers will still be on the job tonight to react to problem spots.

But the job won’t end when all the snow and ice have melted.

“We just put down 500 tons of sand,” Biegler said. “Now we have to go back and pick it up.”

That work will be done with street sweepers, she said.

The 500 tons of sand came partially from stock the city had on hand and from crews digging their own on city property, so there was no significance expense for that, Biegler said. But she estimated that Public Works employees put in about 1,000 hours of overtime during the storm and its aftermath, which will cost the city about $20,000. But her budget includes a contingency for emergency overtime pay.

Biegler, whose last public works job was in Maine, said the approach here is a little different.

“I’m used to having a lot more equipment,” Biegler laughed. “So instead of using plows and spreaders, our guys did a lot of shoveling. And they did a fantastic job.”

One final change from the winter storm will involve trash pickup. Friday’s pickup will be as usual, but Thursday’s rounds will be made on Saturday, she said.

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