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Good Question ‘Reply All’: Street Sand Removal, Lake Names & Population Signs

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(credit: CBS) Heather Brown
Heather Brown loves to put her innate curiosity to work to answer yo...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Ken from Roseville asked: What do the cities do with all the sand they sweep up in the spring?

That depends on the city. In Minneapolis, crews sweep up the sand, debris and litter to a landfill outside of town. That landfill uses the material for daily cover. In other areas, like Ramsey County, some of the street sweepings are screened. The trash is sent to a landfill and sand/dirt that’s left over is used for county construction projects and as backfill.

Ken from Osceola wanted to know: Why do some lakes begin with Lake and others end with it?

“Part of it depends on how prominent the lake is, the bigger the lake, the more likely it’ll have lake first,” said Pete Boulay, a climatologist with the Minnesota State Climatology Office. “There really is no hard or fast rule, it really depends on local preference.”

For example, although Leech Lake is Minnesota’s third largest lake, the locals decided years ago that Leech Lake sounded better than Lake Leech.

Marv from Ogilvie and Leah from Coon Rapids have wondered about the green population signs for each city: How often are they updated?

It’s primarily a MnDOT responsibility. MnDOT metro traffic engineer Steve Misgen says the signs are usually updated every 10 years, usually one year after the U.S. census. “We have had requests by some cities to update them more often but we just do it every 10 years,” he said.

In general, the signs are supposed to last 20 years, and, at that point, are replaced. In the interim years (every 10 years), MnDOT puts a plaque with the new population over the old population.

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