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City of Tucson doing their part to keep storm debris off streets

City of Tucson doing their part to keep storm debris off streets
Posted at 5:58 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-24 14:24:27-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — This year’s monsoon has not been very forgiving, leaving debris on streets after every storm.

It is because of this that the City of Tucson Department of Transportation & Mobility (TDOT) continues its efforts to minimize debris, especially around construction sites.

“Mother nature is very unpredictable. Parts of the city will get hit or be inundated and other parts will remain...will remain dry,” said Mike Graham.

Graham, with TDOT, says regardless of how powerful the monsoon gets, the city is on it.

“At this time we currently have three road widening projects. Houghton Road from Mary Ann Cleveland Way to Valencia, the downtown links project, and then we have the Broadway west improvement project,” he added.

Their first priority is to make sure debris doesn’t spill from construction sites onto the roads during storms. Here’s what contractors do to prevent this from happening:

“They’ll build dirt berms to divert the water to stay onto a construction site. We also use wattles. Essentially, they force the stormwater up over the catch basin and then the straw will collect the sediment and keep it in the wattle itself. We also use sandbags on the barricades that are in place, to keep them from blowing over,” Graham told KGUN9.

Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria is located on Broadway, near one of the city’s construction sites. Owner Rocco Digrazia says, so far, the city has done its part to take care of the runoff and debris.

“When it’s really flowing, this whole construction site is a flowing river of muddy water, but they’ve filled it in a couple times since the rain has started,” Digrazia told KGUN9.

Graham says after the storms subside, the city immediately gets to work.

“If debris and sediment does get on a roadway, then we’ll have to sweep it. Or we’ll use a streetsweeper. Or sometimes street brooms, which is a smaller version of s streetsweeper,” said Graham.

They also go around making sure barricades are in place.

“Our crews are on call. They’re ready to go. Our contractors. Our inspectors. Our goal is to keep the traveling public safe, and that’s what they will do,” Graham told KGUN9.