In the summer, roads are graded prior to having dust control materials applied. In addition, the Road Commission tries to grade gravel roads after it rains and the road has softened up. Unfortunately in the winter and spring, there is not much that can be done until the frost is out of the roads.
To inquire about having a road gravel road graded, please call our office directly at (616) 842-5400 or utilize the online service request form.
The Road Commission will respond as quickly as possible, however at times, road grading must be postponed due to weather conditions or coordinated with dust control applications. If the road is too dry or too wet, grading has little effect other than to re-arrange dust or mud.
One of the drawbacks of gravel roads is they are prone to giving off dust. Road dust is made up of fine particles that are important to the stability of the road. As a road dries out, the fines blow away, breaking down the gravel road. Daily traffic scatters the remaining coarser aggregates that have become loose; causing potholes, ruts, washboard, loss of profile, loss of ditch lines, and other problems.
Keeping the road moist helps fines adhere to each other and to aggregates, allowing for optimum compaction. There are several different types of products that help control dust and retain moisture. The most commonly used are:
Calcium Chloride is a man made solution generally at 26% to 35% concentration.
Mineral Well Brine is a naturally-occurring salt water that is pumped from the ground.
When applied to gravel roads, both the chloride and brine products draw moisture from the air and ground. This moisture binds the materials in the road, reducing the amount of dust that becomes airborne and providing a better driving surface.
The Township will select a contractor, purchase a dust control material, and determine the frequency and location of applications. The Road Commission will then grade the gravel road prior to the contractor’s placement of the dust control material. A tank truck with a rear distribution bar is typically used to spread the liquid dust control evenly over the road.
Contact the local Township office to request or inquire about dust control applications.
This process is referred to a seal coat or chip seal.
Today’s technically advanced seal coats are economical surface treatments designed to protect and prolong the life of pavements. In a single seal coat process, an asphalt binder is sprayed onto the pavement, then immediately covered by a single layer of uniformly sized aggregate. The new chip sealed surface is then rolled to seal the aggregate to the oil and swept. Usually a week or two later the road is swept again and a fog sealant is sprayed over the aggregate.
A seal coat is a perfect tool for pavement preventive maintenance. Seal coats provide a quick, reliable and economical surface treatment that will seal out the damaging effect of water, help to increase skid resistance, improve aesthetics and delineation, and provide a new wearing surface to protect the pavement for years to come.
Requests for the Road Commission to remove or trim trees or other vegetation within the county road right-of-way will be reviewed and must meet some or all of the following criteria:
1. The tree or vegetation is within the county road right-of-way.
2. The tree or vegetation is determined by the Road Commission to be a potential public hazard, vision impediment, or drainage obstruction.
3. There are no buildings, utilities, or other obstructions too close to the tree as determined by the Road Commission.
4. The tree is dead, dying, or weakened.
If the Road Commission completes a review of the request and determines there is an immediate danger to the public; the tree, limb, or vegetation will be scheduled for removal as soon as possible. Otherwise, the request will be handled as time and resources allow.
Tree trimming and removal by the Road Commission is generally done in the spring and fall of each year.
Live mature trees are typically not removed by the Road Commission unless they have a high probability of being struck or as necessary in conjunction with road improvement projects or other permitted activity.
If the adjacent property owner or their contractor wishes to trim and/or remove trees/vegetation within the county road right-of-way, a permit application shall be obtained from and submitted to the Road Commission for review and approval.
To inquire about having a tree removed or trimmed, please call our office directly at (616) 842-5400 or utilize the online service request form.
Road commission crews pull shoulders on gravel roads in the county every spring before the grass begins to grow on the side of the road. This maintenance is done to reclaim gravel that has been pushed into the shoulder as well as to remove the berm on the roadside which keeps the water from flowing off the road.
We lose a lot of gravel either from rain washing it off the road or from vehicles kicking it up from normal driving. By doing this the road commission can save thousands of tons of gravel. The process of pulling shoulders involves a couple of steps. A tractor with a retriever (disk), or motor grader, goes through and pulls the berm into the center of the road. Next a truck grader “beats” the gravel out of the sod and mixes it with existing gravel. This isn’t a thing that’s done in one day. It can be a two-week process. The graders do come back on a regular basis to check on it and regrade as necessary.