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.

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Use KCRC's Find My Jurisdiction tool to help confirm and contact the appropriate agency. 

The work completed is part of KCRC's routine maintenance efforts to manage vegetation within the right-of way. Beginning in late summer, KCRC deploys mechanical brush cutters to help manage vegetation. The clearing process helps trim and remove wild brush to reduce the potential hazard of overgrown vegetation. The operation can compromise the aesthetic of the site for a brief period; however, a couple months of regrowth helps to restore the naturally pleasing roadside.

  • Vegetation maintenance within the right-of-way:
  • Increase traffic sign visibility
  • Improve motorist visibility of deer and other livestock and wildlife near the road
  • Keep road users (vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians) visible to drivers
  • Help pedestrians and bicyclists see motor vehicles
  • Improve winter road maintenance in snow and ice areas
  • Help drainage systems function as designed
  • Preserve road surfaces through daylighting and root system control
  • Control noxious weeds in accordance with local laws and ordinances

Vegetation control typically causes minimal impact to traffic flow. Because of this, advance notice of this work is generally not provided to property owners. Our crews handle miles of routine maintenance efforts per day, and it would greater impact our efficiency, and the work completed, if prior notice was required before these activities could begin.

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. 

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 KCRC Mailbox Policy or to Report Mailbox Damage.

In order to achieve the highest efficiency and address the most amount of miles, mowing of county right of way is typically conducted in a systematic, rather than issue-by-issue, basis. However, we do appreciate knowing specific locations that residents identify as areas of concern.

* Property owners are encouraged to mow along their property to enhance safety of themselves and other motorists

* The system targets two passes along all of KCRC's right of way and includes both county and state roads

*  A fleet of mowers is deployed May - August, subject to the weather and emergency response efforts

*  Mowing equipment travels at less than 5 miles per hour, covering right of way along 5,000 miles of road

The Kent County Sheriff's Department advises that in normal daylight conditions, if you don’t have a clear line of sight to an opposing driver’s eyes, they may not know you’re there. Just as importantly, if a person doesn’t feel they can pass through an intersection safely, an alternate route can be considered.

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. Please note that KCRC does NOT remove dead animals from yards/areas outside the right-of-way.  To report a dead animal, contact KCRC via Report an Issue or call KCRC at 616-242-6950. 

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 a moving operation, an exact schedule cannot be provided regarding when the crew will be working in front of a specific driveway. However, KCRC and its contractors will work with residents who need access to and from their driveways within the 30-60 minute period of top course paving.  When you see the crew nearing your residence, providing them with a “head’s up” of your needs will assist them in helping you exit safely.

Yes, residents will have access to the neighborhood.

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.  

​Potholes are an unfortunate consequence of Michigan weather, and KCRC seeks to fix potholes as soon as possible after we are notified.

Under Michigan law, the Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) is not liable for any damages caused by a roadway defect unless: (1) the defect constituted an imperfection that made the roadway not reasonably safe and convenient for public travel; (2) the Road Commission had notice of the defect; and (3) the Road Commission failed to take corrective measures relating to the defect within a reasonable amount of time. This is a three-part requirement. That is to say, each one of these factors must be established for liability to exist on the part of the Road Commission. Therefore, KCRC typically does not reimburse for damage due to a pothole.

If you believe that all three conditions have been met, and the pothole was on a road under Kent County Road Commission jurisdiction, please contact KCRC’s Traffic and Safety Division at 616-242-6936.

Complete the online “Report an Issue” form or call KCRC at 616-242-6950. 

“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.) 

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. 

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

So that it may be addressed as quickly as possible:

  • Call the KCRC office at 616-242-6950 during normal business hours
    (Mon - Fri, 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM) OR call 911
  • Afterhours and over the weekend, call 911
  • If there is a downed wire, call 911 before contacting Consumers Energy (800-477-5050) and remain at least 25 feet away from the downed wire
  • When in doubt, call 911

If the fallen tree is outside the traveled portion of the road and is not causing an emergency issue to the traveling public, you may report it via the Report an Issue online form or call KCRC at 616-242-6950.

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 next step of the process to be completed; another crew member may be replenishing the necessary material or aggregate; or weather conditions may have changed causing a potential schedule change.  

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 make adjustments to the original scheduling with the goal of meeting projects’ targeted completion dates. 

During rainy conditions, KCRC crews will shift focus to address jobs that are not weather-sensitive, including construction preparation like milling, and maintenance activities like ditching, drainage and brush work, and guardrail repair. 

The chip seal treatment is a cost efficient 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 aggregate that sticks to the emulsion and, after rolling and sweeping, provides a skid-resistant surface to improve safety.  
As vehicles travel over the newly applied surface, some of the aggregate may come loose under the tires. When a motorist encounters a newly chip sealed road, which will be marked with "Loose Gravel" signs, the best practice is to reduce one’s speed and keep plenty of distance from the vehicle in front of you.  Click here for more information about how KCRC uses chip seal to extend the lfe of the road.

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 it in for routine oil changes. With the routine oil changes, your car will not only run smoother, it will likely run longer with less costly repairs. Treatments on roads in good or fair condition work similarly. Rather than waiting several years until the road deteriorates to poor condition, when expensive reconstruction may be necessary, a lower-cost surface treatment can be applied, which will extend the life of the road at a fraction of the cost for structural resurfacing or reconstruction.  This practice is call “pavement preservation”. Therefore, KCRC employs a “mix of fixes” philosophy in maintaining the country’s roadway network that combines pavement preservation treatments, resurfacing and reconstruction. In doing so, KCRC can maximize miles in good or fair condition within the constraints of available revenue from the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF). 

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).