12/30/2008: "Road Clean Up Begins"
The Snow has melted, but sand remains, and now Public Works will have to deal with that too. Most of San Juan County’s roads are clear of snow. Now the Public Works department has turned its attention to sand -1000 cubic yards of it spread by County road crews during the storms. That’s nearly 3 million pounds of sand that has to be swept from the roads.
“We’re asking bicyclists to be careful and be patient,” said San Juan County Public Works Operations Manager Russ Harvey. “We have a limited amount of equipment and it will take a couple of weeks to get all of that sand off the roads.”
Harvey said that in village areas and around ferry landings, particularly where the streets have curbs, the sand will have to be picked up. In other areas sweeper trucks can simply clear it off of the pavement. He noted that special attention has to be given to cleaning roads scheduled to be chip sealed in 2009.
“Keeping the roads open during this storm required a lot of work and our crews have worked long hours,” he said. “The snow started falling on the evening of December 12 and we didn’t have temperatures above freezing on most of the islands until Christmas Day.” Crews were still sanding slick spots on Orcas Island on Saturday and on San Juan Island Sunday afternoon.
County offices stayed open throughout the storm with relatively few storm-related absences; however several County Boards and advisory committee meetings were cancelled primarily out of concern for members who would have to travel between islands.