Sandy Streets Anger Motorists

Tuesday, February 20th 2007, 10:00 am
By: News On 6

Some Oklahoma motorists are blasting Tulsa’s sandy roads, at least verbally. They say the sand is tearing up their cars paint job, and they don't understand why it's taking so long to get it cleaned up. The News on 6’s Steve Bert reports January’s ice storm is still haunting area drivers.

"It just sounds like you're getting sandblasted sometimes," Bob Brothers said.

The Sand Springs business owner drives his company truck to work each morning along the Broken Arrow Expressway. And he says he's getting pelted with lots of sand before he ever gets to Sand Springs.

"You can see all along here if you look, the paint is coming off the front end of it," said Brothers.

One of his employees, Pam Abel, takes the same route to work. They both say they haven't seen a single street sweeper.

"It just seems like they're taking a long amount of time to get it taken care of," Abel said.

The News on 6 spoke with the State Department of Transportation, they say you'll see sweepers in the city during the day, but on the highways, they only sweep at night to avoid tying up traffic. But lately, they haven't been sweeping at night either. The reason, the sweepers use water to control the dust to prevent visibility hazards, and if they had been using water the past couple of weeks, it would have created an ice hazard.

Brothers wonders why we don't use the liquid deicing solution, like he saw on a recent business trip in the northeast.

"And they use a chemical mix with no sand, and their roads are totally, you can drive the speed limit," he said.

The city of Tulsa does use some liquid chemicals, just not as much. Transportation officials say it would take expensive new storage tanks and other infrastructure to have more of the chemical solution on hand; something that might be tough to justify with Oklahoma’s usually mild climate. The good news is that we won't be freezing at all this week, so officials say they'll be out sweeping Tuesday night.