BEND, OR -- After an incredible amount of snow fell, this winter, local street crews were forced to use a massive amount of gravel and cinders to keep cars from slipping on the ice. Most of that snow is now gone, but the rocks remain.
David Abbas, Bend’s Director of Streets and Operations, says it’s now time to clean up the mess. "As we’ve been thawing out, with the weather we’ve been getting these last couple weeks, we have had our sweepers out on corridors that snow’s gone and we can get to. Depending on the time of day, some of that is still frozen to the ground, if it’s early in the morning. But, we’re getting a jump on it as best we can to get that gravel cleaned up." He tells KBND News, crews are preparing for spring while continuing winter operations, "Obviously, right now, on most of the roads we’re still dealing with areas for safety or problematic areas. But, here’s where we get an opportunity to try and get out there and get a jump on cleaning that up. Mother Nature - two or three weeks from now, it could snow again."
As sweepers clean up the mess, Abbas says they try to recycle as much rock as possible. "A number of years back, we went from using red cinders to more of a basalt crushed rock. It’s more of a grayish, whitish color so we field calls sometimes, ‘I’m not seeing the sanding rock out there.’ It kind of blends in. But, at this time, when we can sweep that up and get that back to our yard and do some screening with it, there is a re-use possibility." He says basalt doesn't break down as easily as red cinders, which turns into a fine dust after a number of cars drive over it. Red cinders were used on some streets, this year, as crews got to the bottom of rock piles. Crews laid down about 9,000 yards of rock, this year. In an average winter, Abbas says they would use about 1800 yards.
To hear our full conversation with David Abbas, click HERE or visit our Podcast Page.