The Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) took home three Impress Awards at the County Road Association (CRA) of Michigan’s 2016 Highway Conference held in Lansing in late March. The Impress Awards recognize exemplary projects in the fields of communications and operations by county road agencies throughout the state. KCRC was recognized for its Joint Maintenance Program; Collective Chip Seal Program with Ionia, Montcalm and Newaygo Road Commissions; and 2015 Brand Update.
“Being recognized with these awards is a testament to our continuing efforts to increase value for those we serve by infusing innovative strategies and best practices into our daily operations and outreach,” said Steve Warren, KCRC’s Managing Director. “We have very dedicated employees who take great pride in what they do. I think these honors represent that commitment.”
KCRC received an Impress award in Operations for its Joint Maintenance Program, which extends the surface life of a road while reducing the overall cost of repair. This is done by targeting the specific area of deterioration –the joints – for a road on which 90% of the surface is still in good condition. To accomplish this, KCRC invested in equipment designed for narrow-width paving, which allowed crews to pave narrower segments of road, thus reducing the amount of material needed and overall cost. Repairs made years prior have generally remained defect-free. The positive outcome has led additional road agencies throughout the state to adopt the practice. “Using this strategy, our crews have tripled their daily output and improved the quality of the product,” said Jerry Byrne, KCRC’s Deputy Director of Operations.
West River Drive
KCRC was also recognized collectively with Ionia, Montcalm, and Newaygo County Road Commissions for a collaborative Chip Seal Program. Chip seal is a pavement surface treatment that combines a layer of asphalt with a layer of fine aggregate to provide a high friction-wearing surface over old pavement. The collaboration among the four county road agencies served to reduce costs and improve the quality of chip seal work performed in Ionia and Newaygo, who previously used private contractors to apply chip seal. For this project, KCRC served as the bidding agent and Montcalm provided the chip seal equipment and work force.
KCRC received an Impress Award in Communications for its 2015 Brand Update. The Brand Update integrated a refreshed logo with a new mantra “Working to Keep Kent County Moving” and then sought to align KCRC’s messaging and outreach across multiple platforms, maintaining consistency with its vision, values and mission.
Timeline of Logos
To accomplish this, KCRC worked with The Image Shoppe, a Grand Rapids-based marketing firm, to assist in a rebrand initiative and website redesign. The project produced a new logo, website and enhanced social media presence to create a better messaging experience and more consistent communications.
“The Kent County Road Commission not only showed initiative with its brand update but also with its recent joint maintenance project. Clearly they have poured themselves into making Kent County roads the best that they can be,” said Denise Donohue, CRA’s Executive Director. “Ionia, Kent, Montcalm and Newaygo County Road Commissions provide an excellent example of what can be done when road commissions are able to communicate and work together to create something bigger and better – in this case a more efficient chip sealing program.”
KCRC Representatives at the 2016 Highway Conference Impress Award Presentations (left to right): Mark Rambo, Board Chairman; Jerry Byrne, Deputy Managing Director of Operations; Maura Lamoreaux, Communications Manager; Steve Warren, Managing Director; and John Strauss, Director of Finance.