City employees will start sweeping Anchorage's dusty roads Tuesday morning, removing debris, sand and whatever else attached to the roadways over the winter months, officials said.
The sweep will begin in South Anchorage and move north, first traveling the busier arteries, like parts of Old Seward Highway, before covering the city's east-west roads, said Paul VanLandingham, general foreman with the city's public works department.
"Our goal is to get our winter aggregate off of the streets and into the gutters to help with air quality and water quality," he said.
Officials estimate that the cleaning will take between a month and six weeks. It's the first of three annual cleanings by the city, the second starts in June and the third sometime in September, said Ron Thompson, the city's public works director.
Crews will rotate in day and night shifts, working in teams of "sweeping trains," a caravan of nine vehicles tasked with cleaning up roadways, sidewalks and trails. The typical train consists of two mechanical sweepers, two vacuum sweepers, two sidewalk tractors, two water trucks and a dump truck in the back to haul away material, VanLandingham said.
He said crews will try to notify residents before their roads are swept so they can move their vehicles into driveways or garages.
The state will hire contractors to start sweeping its streets in late April, according to Jill Reese, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation. The state maintains many of the city's main roadways like Glenn Highway, Debarr Road, New Seward Highway and others.
Once the sweep starts on Tuesday, residents can track the progress under the Street Maintenance page on muni.org.
Reach Tegan Hanlon at email@example.com or 257-4589.
Residential Street Sweeping Status
By TEGAN HANLON