South MS cleans sand before it becomes road hazard

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It played a major role in helping to keep drivers from losing control as roads and bridges iced over but now that same sand has become a potential hazard. Across South Mississippi road crews and public works crews are removing sand they put down over the last few days .In Jackson County, officials said sand needs to be cleaned up as soon as possible.

As South Mississippi was being blanketed by ice Jackson County crews spread sand over more than 100 bridges.

Butch Loper is  Assistant Road Manager. "It takes a lot of effort to get it out and it takes just as much effort to get it up," Loper said.

Jackson County officials said during freezing temperatures the sand gave drivers traction over the ice But now that ice has melted that sand can cause drivers to lose traction and possibly wreck. Another worry is the sand might cause drainage problems on the bridge.

"We've got chances of rain increasing through the weekend," Loper said. "So we've got to get the bridges back so the weep holes, what we call the drainage holes, on the bridges will let the water get off of them so it doesn't cause a hydroplaning problem as well," Loper said.

To prevent any problems crews are first shoveling up the sand by hand then going back with a mechanical sweeper to clear the rest. Jackson County officials said overall they're satisfied with how patient and cooperative the public has been.

"A lot of people did listen to it. It made it safer for us to be out there trying to make it safe because that way we didn't have as much traffic to contend with. The hazards weren't as high because we didn't have the traffic on top of us slipping and sliding and making it dangerous for our workers," said Loper. "Everything really worked well. The public listened. You guys did an outstanding job getting the word out and keeping the word out and all and all it was a really good operation."

Jackson County officials said they hope to have most of the sand removed on Friday then remove whatever remains by the beginning of next week.

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