Street sweeping now underway on Biloxi streets

The city’s new street-sweeping program, which proposes to pick up dirt and debris from 15 major thoroughfares each month, began earlier this week, and the firm cleaning the streets agrees with Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich: It’s going to be a big job at the outset.

Sweep Masters, a firm that specializes in cleaning parking lots and roadways, scooped up enough dirt and debris to fill a dump truck during an initial, three-mile sweep of Popp’s Ferry Road north of the bridge Monday night. In fact, the initial eight cubic yards of dirt and debris was four times more than what would normally be picked up in street sweeping a three-mile stretch of public roadway.

“There’s no doubt about it: a regular, street-sweeping schedule has been needed in Biloxi for some time, and that’s what we’re doing,” Gilich said. “It’s going to be a time-consuming effort at the outset, but we’re going to get a handle on it, and our major thoroughfares in all parts of the city are going to be maintained regularly.

“As mayor, I want Biloxi to be safe, friendly and beautiful.”

Gilich received City Council approval last month for the city to enter in a contract with Sweep Masters, a Theodore, Ala.-based company that uses vehicular sweepers to clean parking lots across the Gulf Coast. The cost to Biloxi: $55 per curb mile or $150 an hour.

Among the roadways scheduled for monthly sweeping: Caillavet Street, Howard Avenue, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, White Avenue, Pass Road, Popp’s Ferry Road (including bridge), Cedar Lake Road to I-10, Brodie Road (Cedar Lake to Destiny Plantation), Richard Drive, Jam Lane, Debuys Road (U.S. 90 to Pass Road), Eisenhower Drive, Rodenberg Avenue and Veterans Avenue.

Some streets, such as Pass Road and Popp’s Ferry Road, are scheduled to be swept twice a month.

Under the plan, major thoroughfares typically will be swept at night, usually from 7 p.m. through the early morning hours, and any neighborhood streets will be swept during the day.

The streets are being swept with a 2015 Elgin Broom Badger, an Isuzu chassis that has been outfitted with diesel engines, hydraulics and center and side-mounted brooms that can sweep dirt and debris from a nine-foot-six inch sweeping path into a four-cubic-yard hopper. Only about 400 Broom Badgers are in use across the country, according to Cheryl Monroe of Sweep Masters.

“The work is going to be pretty rough for the first month because there’s so much catching up to do,” Monroe said. “But our goal is to have a pretty regular schedule, and, once we get things in hand,  be out sweeping two or three days a week every week.”

Added Gilich: “I realize that there’s going to be a huge demand for this across the city, and we’re going to do everything we can to sweep as many streets as possible, but at the outset we’re focusing on our high-profile, major thoroughfares to make a huge impact.”
Learn more about Sweep Masters
See a 360-view of the Elgin Broom Badger
See Mayor Gilich’s “Let’s clean up, Biloxi” video