FAQ

Does KCRC remove dead animals from the road or side of the road?

Routine Maintenance > Winter Mainenance >

Crews will remove large dead animals, like deer, from KCRC’s right-of-way.  We will also remove smaller animals, like raccoons, from the drivable portion of the roadway. Our crews will make an effort to contact the owner of a domestic dead animal if identification can be determined. To report a dead animal, contact KCRC via Report an Issue or call KCRC at 616-242-6950. 

How do I apply or hear of a job opening at KCRC?

Employment >

KCRC job openings are publicized in local publications and posted to our website, Facebook page and Twitter feed. You may also sign up to receive notification when a job opening is posted.

How do I get a street sign made for our private street?

Construction Engineering > Traffic & Safety >

To request the production of a street sign for a private street, please call the Permit Department at 616-242-6920.

How does KCRC decide what projects will be funded?

Construction Engineering > Finance >

KCRC’s Strategic Plan outlines a blueprint for maintaining and preserving our road and bridge network. Projects for potential funding are considered based on this plan and in terms of pavement conditions, traffic patterns, public feedback, and how much money is available. Not all projects are eligible to receive federal aid funds and KCRC must balance the amount of money available…

How does KCRC respond to a winter storm?

Winter Mainenance >

KCRC strives to complete winter operations across its network within 36 hours following the end of a snow storm. A fleet of 97 snowplows is deployed to cover 114 snowplow routes, equating to 3,000 miles of roads. Day crews maintain the county roads while both day and night crews maintain the state trunklines. 

I applied last year for an open position. Do I have to submit another application?

Employment >

Yes. Applications will receive active consideration for a period of 30 days. Thereafter, if not employed by KCRC, future employment opportunities require a new employment application.

I have an emergency; how do I get my road cleared immediately?

Routine Maintenance > Winter Mainenance >

KCRC does not respond to special requests except through law enforcement and fire services. Residents experiencing an emergency situation should call 911. KCRC will respond as directed by law enforcement. 

I want to plant some trees along the road. Is that ok?

Construction Engineering >

Property owners may plant trees within the KCRC’s right-of-way and easements only after a permit has been issued by the Engineering Division. All trees planted must meet the specifications outlined in KCRC’s Tree Planting Policy. 

If a tree falls in the traveled portion of the roadway designed for public travel; what do I do?

Routine Maintenance > Traffic & Safety > Winter Mainenance >

Please call the KCRC office immediately at 616-242-6950. The fallen trees will be moved outside of the road right-of-way when possible.  The relocated fallen tree will be left for the property owner’s use and/or disposal.  

Is it legal to pass a snowplow?

Winter Mainenance >

There are no state laws that prohibit passing a snowplow. However, the action can be extremely dangerous. Snowplows may be equipped with wing plow blades that can extend anywhere between 2 and 10 feet beyond the width of the truck. This wing plow blade is often not seen because of the snow cloud being kicked up by the snowplow. These wing…

Is it true that Michigan spends less on roads than any other state?

Finance >

Yes. Michigan spends about $154 per capita in road investment. The next closest state is Ohio at about $214 per capita - this equates to Ohio spending $1 billion more on roads annually.  

I’ve seen snowplows driving along during a storm with their plows raised. Why aren’t they plowing?

Winter Mainenance >

There are a few possible reasons:

  1. Plows may be in operation to spread materials, or may be out of materials to spread and headed back to the garage to reload.
  2. The snowplow driver does not have the responsibility for the road he/she is currently on, and is heading elsewhere. Plow routes are designed to minimize travel in between service areas.
  3. The road…

My car hit a pothole and incurred damage. How do I get reimbursed?

Routine Maintenance > Traffic & Safety > Winter Mainenance >

Questions concerning claims are often made to the Road Commission when damage occurs to a vehicle that is caused by road conditions. Please be advised that under state law MCLA 691.1403, the Kent County Road Commission cannot be held liable for damages due to a road defect, like a pothole.  In order for a claim to be eligible for reimbursement, KCRC must have been aware of…

My neighbors and I would like a traffic signal at an intersection. How can we petition for one?

Traffic & Safety >

The Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control establishes a set of criterial, or warrants, to determine whether a traffic signal is required. Requests for traffic signals are reviewed, with the decision based on the state guidelines.  

People are speeding on our road. How do I get the speed limit lowered?

When a request is received to lower the speed limit on a county road, it is reviewed collaboratively by the township, KCRC and the Michigan State Police.  The potential next step includes conducting speed studies, accident analyses, and driving environment surveys. A recommendation is made based on analysis of the data collected and established traffic engineering criteria. If it is determined that…

Sod on my property was damaged by a snow plow, what do I do?

Winter Mainenance >

Despite best efforts, sod along the edge of the road occasionally may be damaged during snow removal activities. In general, KCRC will repair sod damaged by a snow plow or truck. Residents who experience sod damage are asked to contact the Road Commission by phone or email the Road Commission via Report an Issue.

We pay property tax. Why isn’t that enough to cover fixing our roads?

Construction Engineering > Finance >

The property tax you pay is used for your local and county governmental units and schools, not for roads. Instead, the majority of the KCRC budget is funded by the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF), which includes revenue from gas tax and vehicle registration fees.  More regarding KCRC's funding sources is available here.

What are seasonal weight and speed restrictions?

Construction Engineering > Traffic & Safety > Winter Mainenance >

Seasonal weight and speed restrictions are legal limits placed on the loads trucks may carry and the speed at which they can travel. The intent of the restrictions is to protect the integrity of the road when frost is coming out of the ground. Normal legal loads must be reduced by approximately 35% and truck vehicle speeds reduced to 35 mph. 

What are the limitations of road salt?

Winter Mainenance >

The effectiveness of salt is dependent upon pavement temperature of 15-20°F and above. When the pavement temperature drops below 15°F, the effectiveness of salt is decreased significantly, and KCRC will begin adding other chemicals such as calcium chloride or magnesium chloride to the salt to lower the melting point. 

Wind conditions also play a role when deciding how to apply salt or…

What are “All Season” roads?

Construction Engineering > Routine Maintenance > Winter Mainenance >

“All Season” roads are not subject to weight restrictions, which means that heavy-load trucks may drive on them all year. Non-all-season roads are subject to weight restrictions during the annual thaw period (late winter-early spring) to prevent damage to these roads. (When thawing occurs, ground beneath the roadbed can soften and make the surface susceptible to damage from heavy loads.) 

What does “Weather Dependent” mean?

Construction Engineering > Routine Maintenance >

Cold temperatures and wet/rainy weather affects the schedule of road work, not just day-to-day, but at times, hour to hour.  

Much of the material used for pavement preservation treatments and resurfacing is weather and temperature dependent and therefore cannot be applied until conditions are warm and dry. When one job gets postponed, it impacts both KCRC and its contractors’ schedules. Working together, KCRC and its contractors…

What happens to trees that may impact a project improvement?

Construction Engineering > Routine Maintenance >

KCRC takes a proactive approach to save or remove trees that are impacted by a road improvement project. Informational meetings are held for major improvement projects during which property owners can meet with KCRC representatives to discuss the upcoming project and the potential tree impact. 

What is KCRC’s policy for mailbox damage?

Routine Maintenance > Winter Mainenance >

KCRC investigates each complaint regarding a mailbox damaged during snow removal. If an inspection shows that the mailbox was hit by a plow or other KCRC equipment, KCRC will replace the mailbox. However, if damage was caused by thrown ice or snow coming off of the plow, mailbox repair is the responsibility of the property owner. Click the following for 

What roads and bridges are part of Kent County Road Commission’s network?

Construction Engineering > Routine Maintenance > Winter Mainenance >

KCRC maintains 1957 miles of roads and 172 bridges within the County of Kent, exclusive of those that fall under the jurisdiction of the State, cities and villages.  KCRC also provides routine and winter maintenance for 436 miles of state trunklines under a multi-year contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).   

Why Are Crew Members just “standing around” the work site?

Construction Engineering > Routine Maintenance >

There are a number of reasons why crews may have to break for a period of time while working on a road project. A vital piece of equipment may have broken down and a replacement or repair is being addressed; work may be occurring in intervals, and the employees you see may have just completed their task and are waiting for the…

Why are European roads in better condition?

Construction Engineering > Finance > Routine Maintenance >

Because far more resources are dedicated to the maintenance and preservation of European road networks Let’s do a price comparison in US dollars by gallon: For a US gallon of gas costing $3.27, 43 cents of that goes to taxes. In England, the same gallon of gas would cost you $7.23 of which $4.63 accounts for taxes. While our roads are built to industry standards, we invest…

Why are pavement and ground temperatures important? Why not rely on air temperature?

Routine Maintenance > Winter Mainenance >

The ability of salt or other deicing agents to melt snow and ice depends on the temperature of the road - not the air, and the two temperatures can differ by as much as 20°F.  

Why are you putting “tar and gravel” on our paved road?

Construction Engineering > Routine Maintenance >

The process called “sealcoating” is a relatively low cost method of pavement preservation that helps prevent water from seeping into and softening the base of the road. This restricts compromising elements like cracks and potholes from forming. 

The tar-like substance is actually an emulsion of water and liquid asphalt which penetrates and seals small cracks in the existing pavement. The “gravel” is actually a pea-size aggregate that sticks to the emulsion and, after…

Why can’t KCRC plows avoid pushing snow into my driveway?

Winter Mainenance >

KCRC drivers work as efficiently as possible to cover 114 snowplow routes and treat and clear 3,000 miles of roads. Lifting the plow’s blade at every driveway would increase the time it takes to move through the designated snow routes, greatly reducing the miles of roadway crews cover during a snow or ice event. In addition, lifting the plow’s blade…

Why can’t salt be put on roads and bridges before it snows?

Winter Mainenance >

Putting salt on road surfaces prior to a snowfall is ineffective because the salt often bounces off, or is blown from, the dry road before it can do its job. Salt is most effective after snow has accumulated and the temperature is 20° Fahrenheit or higher. Under these conditions, the salt mixes with the snow and melts the snow into…

Why do bridges and overpasses freeze before the surface of the road?

Winter Mainenance >

The heat underneath the road helps keep it warm and prevents it from freezing, or icing, as quickly as the air’s temperature. But bridges have no way to trap heat, so they freeze shortly after temperatures hit the freezing point. If the air temperature falls below freezing, a bridge’s surface will fall below freezing soon after causing rain or snow…

Why do plows push the snow off the road onto the shoulder, only to return to the same road?

Winter Mainenance >

KCRC usually makes one pass to open the road up so that residents may get in and out. Snowplows then return to widen the road and shoulders for future snow accumulation. 

Why do workers spray liquid onto the roadways before a big storm arrives?

Winter Mainenance >

Crews will spray an anti-icing agent on areas like hills, curves and bridges prior to a storm to thwart snow from sticking to the road and minimize frost or black ice. 

Why hasn’t my street been plowed?

Winter Mainenance >

KCRC serves roads with high traffic volumes and speeds, first. Therefore, snow removal crews typically address roadways in the following order: 

  • State Highways (ex: US-131, I-96, M-6) 
  • County Primary Roads (ex: Byron Center Ave, West River Drive) 
  • Local Paved Roads (ex: Buttrick Avenue, Courtland Drive) 
  • County local gravel roads, lake drives, subdivision streets 

If snow continues to fall,…

Why is road salt used?

Winter Mainenance >

Road salt is spread over roads to lower the freezing point of snow and ice; this keeps the snow “slushy” so it can be removed from the road.  

Before it is applied to the road, the salt is prewetted with a liquid chloride solution. This lowers the melting point and reduces the likelihood of the salt bouncing from the road…

Why is salt spread on a cleared highway after a storm is over?

Winter Mainenance >

The projected temperature of the road surface will impact the final treatment of a road. If plowing operations have finished and a road is left in a "black and wet" condition, there is sometimes a danger of the water on the road refreezing. There are times, especially at night, when this post storm salt application may be necessary. 

Why is this road being treated when our road looks much worse?

Construction Engineering > Routine Maintenance >

It can be frustrating to see crews working on a road in better condition than nearby deteriorated stretches. There is, however, a reason for this – and it includes saving money over the long-term and extending the service life of our roads.  Think of your car. You can wait until the engine fails before taking the car to be fixed, or you can take…

Will we be able to get in and out of the neighborhood during the road project? What about driveways?

Construction Engineering >

Yes, residents will have access to the neighborhood.

There will be “open access” to driveways at most times during paving.  The exception is during placement of the top course of pavement in front of a driveway. To minimize wheel tracks or damage to the surface, traffic must be restricted during this process, which takes approximately 30-60 minutes.

Because paving is…