Flood 2016

Curbside sandbag pickup delayed until Wednesday

Eldridge company bringing in heavy equipment to help with removal

Lisa Vehymer piles sandbags along the curb by her home on Eighth Street NW in the Time Check neighborhood of Cedar Rapids on Monday, October 10, 2016. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Lisa Vehymer piles sandbags along the curb by her home on Eighth Street NW in the Time Check neighborhood of Cedar Rapids on Monday, October 10, 2016. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — The start of curbside sandbag pick up in Cedar Rapids has pushed back a couple days.

Mark Jones, the city’s solid waste and recycling superintendent, said the free service for Cedar Rapids residents now is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Residents should put sandbags in one of three locations:

l If space allows, sandbags can be placed in a driveway keeping one lane clear.

l If the property is located on a low-traffic street, sandbags can be placed in the street leaving 6 inches of space between the curb and the sandbags to allow stormwater to reach drains.

l Sandbags can be placed in the public right of way next to the street.

City officials said sandbags should not be placed in alleys.

City officials had planned to begin picking up sandbags on Monday. A delay was necessary as city officials determined they needed to hire a contractor to complete the work rather than have city crews do it, Jones said, adding the contract is for about $475,000.

Crews from Quality Construction Services of Eldridge have been hired for the job and plan to bring front end loaders and dump trucks, as well as skid loaders and miniature excavators to load the sandbags.

Crews are expected to collect bags for the next three weeks or until the task is completed, according to city officials.

The plan is to start in the northwest neighborhood of Cedar Rapids near Ellis Park and progress from there.

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The crews are only making one pass through each neighborhood, so residents need to have their bags out by 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Jones warned.

However, Jones said he estimates about 95 to 97 percent of residents already have sandbags ready for removal in various neighborhoods.

“Some people have done a nice job stacking them,” he said.

Jones said residents need to move their vehicles off the street or avoid parking near sandbags for the next few weeks. Sandbags blocked by parked vehicles are not likely to be collected, as they are not accessible to removal equipment.

Residents can also drop off sandbags at Ellis Park, 2200 Ellis Boulevard NW, through Friday.

“This will be their last chance,” Jones said, noting the drop off at Noelridge Aquatic Center, 1248 42nd St. NE, closes on Monday.

If residents do not drop off sandbags at the designated locations, or if sandbags are not accessible to the collection crews, removal becomes the responsibility of the resident, city officials said.

After pickup, Jones said the sandbags are to be dropped off at a local quarry, where they are to be emptied with the sand being recycled as fill sand, which is often used as a base material for concrete pavers.

Cedar Rapids residents are encouraged to subscribe to text or email alerts concerning the most up-to-date information concerning sandbag collection at CRNewsNow.com.

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