Robins, bluebirds, street sweepers...
Another sign of spring appeared on the streets of Warren Thursday.
The City of Warren Department of Public Works broke out its street sweeper to start cleaning up the thousands of tons of material crews had to put down to combat icy conditions through the winter.
"We have used approximately 1,600 tons of anti-skid and 1,500 tons of salt," DPW Assistant Superintendent Vinnie Massa said. "It was a rough winter as everyone knows, and there is a large amount of anti-skid and other debris along the curb lines."
The sweeper is making its way through town with regular trips back to base. "Due to the amount of material along the streets, it returns to the DPW garage to empty the debris and refill its water tank five to six times a day," Massa said. "The sweeper has a holding cell of six (cubic) yards."
The vehicle's primary operator is Helen Gustafson. She, or whoever is driving the sweeper, sits in the right side of the cab so she can get a good view of the curb and obstacles.
"It's going to take several passes on each street to get everything cleaned up," Massa said. "And that process is going to take weeks, rather than days. We ask that everyone please be patient with our process."
"We are going to be starting in the downtown area and working our way outwards to the ends of town," he said. "We will also have some evening and night shifts for the sweeper to get into areas where parking and daytime traffic cause us access issues."