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Chapter 10
Roadside Management and Maintenance: Beyond Vegetation
10.10. Sweeping and Vacuuming of Roads, Decks, Water Quality Facilities, and Bridge Scuppers

Sweeping and vacuuming are performed to remove litter, debris and de-icing abrasives from paved roads and shoulders. Sweeping to reduce track-out generally involves manual sweeping or use of small equipment, but does not exclude the use of sweepers should the need arise (e.g., for slides and slipouts). Curbs and bridge decks may also be flushed or swept to remove dirt and debris, and scupper (weep holes or direct drains on bridges) cleaning. Materials are recovered and disposed of or in some cases sidecast.

General practices for structure repair include: [N]

  • Placing refuse material above the bank, away from waterways and wetlands.
  • Ensuring that the active flowing stream will not come into contact with fresh, dissolvable concrete.
  • Disposing of material in appropriate locations.
  • Providing a stable, appropriate concrete truck chute clean-out area and requiring the contractor to use it, to keep material from being deposited in riparian corridors.
  • Using cofferdams for structural repairs, as appropriate.
  • Containing saw chips where feasible.
  • Avoiding use of creosote or "Penta" treated wood for permanent structures.

Stewardship practices for minimizing water quality impacts from highway, bridge deck and scupper sweeping include the following recommendations from Caltrans and Oregon DOT: [N] [N]

  • Store/dispose of removal materials at an appropriate site in an appropriate manner as part of the local material disposal plan. Removed material may be temporarily stored in stable locations to prevent the material from entering wetlands or waterways.
  • Recycle sweeping materials where appropriate.
  • Where feasible, schedule sweeping during damp weather, to minimize dust production.
  • Remove sweepings produced within 25 feet of identified sensitive spawning areas as identified in coordination with resource agencies, if the design of the facility allows.
  • Where appropriate and practical, place sediment barriers in site-specific locations along stream routes or direct drainage routes, route sweeping material away from watercourse.
  • Scupper cleaning involves sweeping of material away from clogged scuppers. Clogged scuppers are normally freed using a steel rod.
  • Use water (as needed) to reduce dust during sweeping.
  • Where feasible, coordinate crews to follow sweeping/flushing with bridge drainage cleaning.
  • Sweeping and vacuuming operations are appropriate for removing de-icing abrasives, material from small slides, litter and debris. Sweeping and vacuuming may be implemented anywhere sediment is tracked from off-road maintenance activity sites onto public or private paved roads typically at the points of egress.
  • Do not sweep up any unknown substance that may be potentially hazardous. If a substance is known to be hazardous, suspected of being hazardous or cannot be identified, notify the District Maintenance HazMat Manager immediately.
  • If an illegally dumped substance within the DOT ROW has the potential of entering a municipal drain system, the immediate supervisor and the District Stormwater Coordinator must be notified so that the downstream municipality can be contacted.
  • Adjust brooms to maximize the efficiency of sweeping operations.
  • Do not load hoppers beyond their capacity.
  • Dispose of waste to a landfill or approved site in accordance with local regulations and solid waste management best management practices (see Chapter 3 on Design for Recycling and also section 10.13). Clean materials may be incorporated into the maintenance activity area.
  • Where possible, recycle abrasives for use in roadside berms instead of putting it in landfills.


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Table of Contents
Chapter 10
Roadside Management and Maintenance: Beyond Vegetation
10.1 Environmental Enhancement Practices and Partnership Efforts
10.2 Protection of Historic and Other Cultural Resources
10.3 Maintenance in Wetlands
10.4 Maintenance Near Waterbodies
10.5 Maintenance of Structures for Wildlife
10.6 Maintenance of Stormwater Facilities
10.7 Maintenance of Roadside Public Facilities
10.8 Management of Portable Sanitary/Septic Waste Systems
10.9 Maintenance of Shoulders and Roadway Appurtenances
10.10 Sweeping and Vacuuming of Roads, Decks, Water Quality Facilities, and Bridge Scuppers
10.11 Maintenance Stewardship Practices for Slopes, Drainage Ditches, Swales, and Diversions
10.12 Erosion and Sediment Control in Maintenance
10.13 Recycling in Roadside Maintenance Operations
10.14 Preserving Air Quality in Maintenance and Operations
10.15 Painting Operation Stormwater BMPs
10.16 Road Waste Management
10.17 Stockpiling, Spoil Disposal or Placement of Inert Fill
10.18 Maintenance of Soils
10.19 Emergency Actions
10.20 Field Review of Roadside Maintenance Operations
Lists: Examples | Tables | Figures
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