New sweeper to soon patrol city streets

The city is expected to take delivery of a new street sweeper next week, and Mayor A.J. Holloway says the $174,000 vehicle will be in operation immediately after any necessary operator training.

Before Hurricane Katrina, the city had contracted with a firm to handle street-sweeping duties, but that agreement ended with the storm because streets were so damaged and debris-filled.

Some time after the storm, a used street sweeper was donated to the city, and the vehicle was in service until its age and wear made it unusable.

“We’re planning to make good use of this new sweeper,” Holloway said. “In fact, we’re going to publish a weekly schedule, letting people know when and where it will be working.”

The City Council approved the $174,000 purchase of the new sweeper on April 15. An order was placed that month, and Schwarze Industries, a Huntsville, Ala. manufacturer, began building the sweeper.

The sweeper itself will be a Schwarze Model A9000, which is a heavy duty, chassis-mounted regenerative air sweeper with a 9.6-cubic-yard hopper. The A9000 was introduced in 2003 and uses the basic design of a model that had more than 15 years of successful operation throughout the United States and around the world.

The sweeper uses a high velocity air column that forces air against the pavement at an angle, creating a “peeling” or “knifing” effect to loosen debris from the pavement before it is transported across the width of the sweeping head and lifted into a containment hopper through a 14-inch suction tube.

To see photos of the A9000, click here.

Street sweeping is limited to those streets with curbs and gutters because rain washes the dirt off streets without curbs and gutters.