Kent County Road Commission Blog

Category Navigation

Winter Weather Response

Winter Weather Response

Jan 30, 2019 Winter Maintenance

(Tuesday, Feb 19) Motorists will likely encounter scattered slippery spots along the AM commute where areas have refrozen. Crews today will be addressing those scattered slippery spots as well as routine maintenance efforts including fixing potholes and repairing guardrail.

(Monday, Feb 18) Snow continued to fall overnight across the county with temps currently below 20 degrees. Overnight, crews addressed/treated the state roads/highways and largest primary roads. Morning crews are continuing on county primary roads and into locals - targeting to provide one pass to all roads by the end of the day. Motorists can expect slippery conditions for morning commute. Reduce speeds and leave extra space between vehicles.

(FRIDAY, Feb 15) This morning’s commute will have scattered slippery spots throughout the network, where any water has refrozen due to temps below freezing. Crews are currently applying material to address these areas. Today, crews will be continuing storm clean-up efforts and completing routine maintenance efforts, including pothole patching and guardrail repair.

 (THURS Feb 14 - 3PM) A much improved commute this morning - but motorists will encounter scattered icy spots where, overnight, winds blew snow back onto the road and it iced over. Crews have completed one pass of the entire network and, today, will be trying to push the snow back in an effort to open drainage in advance of higher temp and need to get water off road

(WED Feb 13 - 6AM) Ongoing lake effect bands, blowing snow, and icy conditions make for challenging morning commute. Overnight, crews scraped state and primary roads and tried to work into locals. Because event was ongoing, they had to keep returning to the higher volume roads. Morning crews in at 4AM to continue efforts - but not all roads will receive service by morning commute. Roads that have been scraped/treated may likely be snow covered again. Snow is anticipated to end by 1PM - this will assist crews in prepping for an improved late afternoon/evening commute.

(TUESDAY, FEB 12, 6AM) Challenging morning commute today, with lots of snow falling that is mixed with sleet, high winds, poor visibility. Overnight, freezing rain turned to heavy snow; crews addressed state roads and AM crews in at 4AM to continue efforts on state and primary roads - as snow continues they will have to return to these high volume roads before heading into lower volume locals. Materials are being applied to help keep ongoing snow from sticking to pavement to help crews scrape off the snow more effectively. However, as more snow/sleet falls, roads that have been addressed may appear untreated. 
- reduce speeds
-leave extra room between vehicles
-leave plenty of extra time to reach destination

(MON, Feb 11) Snow has stopped and overnight crews have applied materials and treated state roads and highest volume primary roads, which are now mainly wet with some scattered slippery spots. Morning crews are completing treatment/scraping of primary roads and will be moving into local roads by morning commute - won't get to all local roads by AM commute. Untreated roads will be slippery, so please use caution and reduce your speeds. Today, crews will be continuing storm clean-up efforts: removing trees/debris from shoulders and ditches.

(Saturday, Feb 9) Overnight and into the morning, crews were able to clear all reported downed trees. Currently, crews are continuing to scrape and apply materials to state and primary roads-they will not get into neighborhoods. Please call 911 if you encounter tree/obstruction blocking the road. Crews will be dispatched by law enforcement.

(FEB 8 - 3:50 PM) Challenging Conditions for PM Commute. Temps in the teens, lake effect snow, wind and reduced visibility make for a challenging afternoon/evening commute. Repeat applications of sand/salt deicing mix has been applied to state and primary roads, but the ongoing snowfall and low temps minimize effectiveness. Crews have managed to clear nearly all trees obstructing the roads, but with continuing winds, more trees are likely to fall. Overnight crew have been called in for tonight and crews are on call for Saturday response.
--Reduce speeds will be needed due to icy conditions, limited visibility and possible downed trees
--To reporting emergency/downed tree/road obstruction this weekend, contact 911(Dispatch will deploy KCRC to emergency response priorities)
--If a downed wire is present, call 911 - then contact Consumers Energy at 1.800.477.5050
--Do NOT report weekend emergencies via social media - they may not receive expedited response
--Update from National Weather Service

(FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8 6:30 AM) From a road surface standpoint, this morning’s commute will likely be better for motorists than the past two days. Snow is blowing off the road in many areas, including the state roads. However, motorists will encounter scattered slippery spots throughout the network due to water remaining on the roads before the snow hit. Poor visibility and high winds are causing issues. Poor visibility and downed trees obstructing roads are the primary issues for this morning’s commute. Crews will continue to address the roads, applying material where effectiv and removing downed trees from the roadway.


(THURSDAY, February 7, 4:30 PM) US National Weather Service Grand Rapids Michigan is forecasting a very cold Friday with snow showers. We will post early tomorrow morning to share road conditions. Tonight, we advise motorists to watch for downed trees and other road obstructions, as well as patches of icy spots along the commute. Remember that intersections with disabled traffic signals should be treated like a four-way stop.

(THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 11:30 AM) Crews are addressing downed trees throughout the network as efficiently as possible. The one pictured below was cleared in under 10 minutes. If you encounter a tree or other debris obstructing the roadway please:
- Call KCRC at 616.242.6900 if between 7:30 AM and 4 PM
- Call 911 if after hours (after 4PM/before 7:30 AM). Dispatch will direct KCRC's emergency response priorities
- If a downed wire is involved, call 911 first before contacting Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050 - and remain at 25 feet away from site
- Unsure who to call? Call 911; dispatch will direct the appropriate emergency personnel
- Do NOT post emergency requests here, as they may not get addressed in an expedited manner

(THURSDAY - FEBRUARY 7 6:15AM) Challenging icy conditions will continue to deteriorate through morning commute with more freezing rain projected at 7AM. Treated state and primary roads have the chance of refreezing with the new rainfall. Crews are currently working into local roads, but will have to return to higher volume roads with new rainfall. In addition to treating roads, crews are also addressing downed trees blocking roadways. Icy/slippery condition throughout network, especially along untreated local & neighborhood roads. Reduced speeds a must this morning. Leave plenty of time to reach your destination and plenty of room between vehicles.

(WEDNESDAY, FEB 6 4:30PM) This afternoon/early evening: Motorists should experience improved road conditions when compared to this morning's commute. Scattered slippery spots remain - so please use caution. (US National Weather Service Grand Rapids Michigan forecast)

Late tonight/tomorrow morning: A similar event to Tuesday night is anticipated for late tonight (Wednesday into Thursday). It is projected that late night and morning commuters will experience similar conditions to what we had this morning - icy roads. Leave additional time to reach your destination, reduce speeds to adjust to icy patches, and leave plenty of room between vehicles.

Crews will be working throughout the night and into the morning to address the anticipated freezing rain.

(TUESDAY, FEB 5 4:30 AM)The US National Weather Service Grand Rapids Michigan is forecasting a two-day freezing rain event for this area beginning tonight, February 5, after 10 PM.
- KCRC crews are pretreating bridges and overpasses with an anti-icing agent that helps reduce the chance of black ice. Crews are able to apply this pretreatment based on the timing of the anticipated storm and current atmospheric conditions (temp/relative humidity)
- This evening, crews are prepared to apply a sand/salt mix to state roads in advance of the anticipated storm if conditions allow. 
- During this prolonged event and forecasted temps, treated roads will refreeze as freezing rain continues to fall and accumulate.
- Late evening and morning commuters should anticipate a slow and slippery commute.

(Tuesday, February 5) Roads are in relatively good condition for this morning's commute. Motorists may encounter scattered slippery spots, especially on lower volume local roads and gravel roads. Today, crews will be focusing on water/drainage issues and gravel road maintenance, along with other routine maintenance needs throughout the network.

(Monday, February 4) Crews worked throughout the weekend scraping snow from state, county and local roads, last night moving into the neighborhoods. Today, they continue efforts in the neighborhoods and on gravels. They will also be filling potholes and clearing drainage issues. Motorists: be aware that you may encounter pockets of standing water on the road.

(Sunday, February 3): crews continuing storm clean-up today. On state roads, crews will be addressing drainage issues. On primary and local roads, crews will continue to scrape accumulated snow off the road. Gravel roads will be scraped, as well. Night crews will continue efforts throughout the network.

(Saturday,February 2) KCRC crews are throughout the country continuing storm clean-up efforts in anticipation of the forecasted rain. On state roads, they are addressing slippery spots and on country roads, they are continuing to apply material and blade snow off the road. Crews will not get into neighborhoods. Roads are much improved, but still slippery and can be slushy or have patches of snow-pack in some areas-so reduced speeds are still need in most cases.

(UPDATE: FRIDAY, FEB 1 at 4:30) As temperatures warmed into the teens, our crews have been focusing this afternoon on getting hard-packed snow off state roads with a 1-2 application of calcium chloride and salt and applying sand/salt mix to our county roads in addition to pushing snow back to open drainage. On Saturday, crews will be on state roads addressing slippery spots and on country roads continuing to apply material and blade snow off the road. Depending on tomorrow's conditions, crews may or may not get into neighborhoods.


This morning's commute conditions are similar to yesterday's: hard-packed snow and extreme temperatures are making for icy conditions. Crews will continue to scrape and push back snow to open drainage in anticipation of rising temps and the need to get the water off the road. As temperatures start to rise later today, additional de-icing (salt, liquid calcium chloride) will be used more effectively - we anticipate improvements for early evening commute.

(THURSDAY, JAN 31) Full Video with closed captions: 


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required