Traffic & Safety

KCRC’s Traffic and Safety Division proactively manages traffic operations throughout the network to minimize vehicle crashes and maximize mobility. Traffic operations are managed in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The manual defines the standards used by traffic engineers nationwide to “install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public travel.”

The Traffic and Safety Division continually monitors vehicle crashes and trends at both the intersection and network levels to assess operations and ensure proper traffic control measures are in place. Ongoing efforts include:

  • Conducting traffic studies to determine appropriate traffic controls
  • Investigating vehicular accidents
  • Monitoring and analyzing crash data
  • Installing/maintaining traffic signs, signals and pavement markings
  • Investigating property damage claims and right-of-way encroachments


KCRC’s Engineering Division is responsible for the planning, preliminary engineering (survey and design) and construction engineering (staking and inspection) of all road and bridge projects on the KCRC system. The Kent County Road Commission recognizes the importance of Complete Streets and Context Sensitive Solutions and works with townships and local municipalities to allow the installation of street lighting, sidewalks, bike paths, non-motorized trails, trees and other street scape amenities, within the public road right-of-way.

The Engineering Division is also responsible for federal contract administration; soil erosion control; right-of-way acquisition; new residential and commercial public street design and construction oversight; bridge inspection and reporting; KCRC stormwater permit compliance and reporting; the issuance and inspection of all permitted activities within the County road right-of-way;  and the layout and update of the official Kent County road map.

KCRC Engineering construction projects generally fall within one of four categories:

New Construction
The construction of a new roadway or bridge where nothing of its type currently exists.

A major change to an existing roadway or bridge within the same general right-of-way corridor. For instance, reconstruction would include adding a left turn lane to an existing two-lane road or constructing an existing roadway to all-season standard.

The existing, deteriorated layer of road surface (and, in some cases, sub-surface) is removed and a new surface is applied.

A treatment is applied to the existing road surface to extend its service life.

To learn more about KCRC’s past, current and future construction projects, please visit our Projects page.

Routine Maintenance

KCRC Routine Maintenance includes ongoing work completed on the roads, roadside and bridges to keep assets in good repair and functioning properly. These efforts help to prolong the life of a road or bridge by preventing premature deterioration.

Road Maintenance: Response to minor pavement defects caused by a combination of traffic and environmental effects. These activities can include crack sealing, pothole patching, and grading.

Roadside Maintenance: These activities are conducted outside of the road surface and include drainage work and ditching, culvert and guardrail repair, tree trimming and vegetation control.

Winter Maintenance


KCRC maintenance crews work hard to keep county and state roads drivable through the changing conditions of Michigan winters. The intensity, timing and duration of each winter event is different and response is adapted to address variables including type of precipitation, air and pavement temperature, traffic, wind, and time of day.

KCRC crews remove snow and ice from roadways as efficiently as possible while working to keep roads open and essential traffic moving. The aim of KCRC’s storm response is to return road surfaces to normal winter conditions as soon as is feasible, targeting one pass on all roads within 36 hours of the conclusion of the event. With proper use of storm forecasts, personnel, equipment, and materials, the desired result can usually be attained. However, flexibility is needed to adapt to the variety of circumstances and possible change in weather conditions.

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

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

Please note that if the snow continues to fall or drift, KCRC may have to return to the state highways and primary roads before plowing local roads and streets. KCRC targets one pass on all county roads within 36 hours of the conclusion of a storm.

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.

As a “necessary evil” of winter maintenance operations, snow will be deposited onto driveways during snow removal. KCRC drivers cannot lift their plows at driveways; doing so would cause the snow to be left on the roadway. Residents are asked to pile the snow on the right-hand side (when facing road) of the driveway. AVOID THE SECOND SHOVEL: This video from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) describes the technique that will help keep your driveway clear when plows pass.

It is illegal for residents or commercial snow plow drivers to push snow into or across the roadway.

It is illegal for a resident or commercial snow plow driver to deposit snow, ice or slush on the roadway or shoulder of the roadway in a manner that obstructs the safety vision of the driver of a motor vehicle.

KCRC does not clear sidewalks or non-motorized paths.

Mailboxes must comply with regulations outlined by the United States Postal Service and residents are responsible for snow removal around their mailbox. Mailboxes set back from the edge of the road will require the property owner to remove accumulated ice/snow to allow for mail delivery.

Residents are encouraged to take advantage of mild conditions and Shake Your Mailbox. Give the mailbox an aggressive shake; if the mailbox moves, it most likely needs maintenance to withstand the winter season and storm response efforts.

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. Residents are encouraged to make temporary repairs to damaged mailboxes, and KCRC will make repairs, if applicable, after all storm clean-up is complete.

Residents who experience mailbox damage are asked to contact KCRC by phone or complete an online form.

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 complete an online form.

Driveway markers staked along the curb line help protect sod from damage. Markers must be flexible with reflectors so that they can be seen in the dark. It is also recommended that the markers be inexpensive; if snow banks need to be pushed back, the markers may be damaged. Damaged markers will not be replaced or reimbursed by KCRC. Please note: the placement of markers will not reduce or restrict the amount of snow being placed alongside the road.

KCRC is not responsible for damage to sprinkler systems that are in the road’s right of way.

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