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Winter Maintenance


Winter Maintenance Policy

Purpose:
To provide a safe road way system in Genesee County during the winter months by operating an effective winter road maintenance service while controlling salt and other chemical usage as well as other winter maintenance expenditures.

Objectives for Genesee County Winter Maintenance Operations:

  1. Reduce the risk to the traveling public that is generally associated with snowy and icy road conditions.
  2. Provide reasonably safe school bus routes and school zones; support as necessary emergency operations by appropriate police, fire, and ambulance agencies in Genesee County.
  3. Assist in reducing economic loss to Genesee County and its townships along with the associated businesses and industries by providing a reasonably safe road system for the transport of person and goods.
  4. Provide for more efficient, cost effective, and responsive winter operations on the part of Genesee County Road Commission.
  5. To enhance the quality of communications and coordination with the townships in Genesee County and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MdoT) in order to provide better services during the winter to the traveling public.

Background:
Each roadway has been classified by traffic volumes and level of importance to the community. Each classification has been assigned a level of maintenance during winter storm conditions. The classifications and levels of maintenance are as follows:

CLASS 1 (Major Routes - ADT):

Provide maintenance services as appropriate under prevailing weather conditions with a goal of providing a pavement surface generally bare of snow and ice. Winter maintenance crews will blade snow and ice from the roadway surfaces and apply deicing chemicals and/or abrasives as needed to provide a wet and reasonably bare pavement. It is intended that this work will be accomplished using overtime labor as needed and within funds budget.

CLASS 2 (Major Routes - ADT):

Provide maintenance services as appropriate under prevailing weather conditions with a goal of providing a pavement surface generally bare of snow and ice in the center portion with sufficient width for one-wheel track in each direction. Deicing chemicals and/or abrasives will be applied as needed. Overtime work will cease when this level of maintenance can be sustained. Clearing the pavement of snow and ice over the entire width of the roadway will be accomplished as soon as reasonably possible without requiring overtime work.

CLASS 3 (Secondary Routes - ADT):

Provide maintenance services as appropriate under prevailing weather conditions with a goal of providing a pavement surface that is passable yet snow covered. Crews shall blade and plow snow from the traveled portion of the roadway with a thin cover of snow permissible. No general application of deicing chemicals and/or abrasives except under during freezing rain or extreme sleet conditions. Hills, curves, and intersections only will be spot treated with deicing chemicals and or abrasives. Minimum overtime only needed.

CLASS 4 (Remainder of Primary and Local Hard Surface):

Provide maintenance services as appropriate under prevailing weather conditions with a goal of providing a pavement surface that is passable yet snow covered. Crews shall blade and plow snow from the traveled portion of the roadway with a thin cover of snow permissible. No general application of deicing chemicals and/or abrasives shall be placed except in extreme conditions of sleet and freezing rain. Hills, curves, and intersections only will be spot treated with deicing chemicals and or abrasives. No overtime will be worked on these routes.

CLASS 5 (Subdivisions and Gravel Local Roads):

Provide maintenance services as appropriate under prevailing weather conditions. Blading and plowing shall generally be the only treatment given. Under extreme packed ice conditions, deicing chemicals and/or abrasives may be used in an emergency with the authorization of the Director of Maintenance of his designee. Winter maintenance efforts on these routes are to undertake in conjunction with other street priorities. Overtime is generally not authorized in these routes.


Synopsis of Roadways with Associated Levels of Service

CLASS 1:

All state trunk lines and multi-lane (four or more) primary roads

First Priority: bare pavement with overtime authorized as necessary

CLASS 2:

Multi-lane primary and high ADT single lane primary roads

First Priority: Bare pavement during regular GCRC working hours with consideration given to Class 1 first.

Second Priority: Center bare pavement to be accomplished on overtime as approved by the Director of Maintenance of his designee.

CLASS 3:

Low volume primary and high volume paved roads

Second Priority: Center bare pavement with minimum overtime as approved by the Director of Maintenance of his designee

CLASS 4:

Remainder of primary and local roads

Third Priority: Snow covered with plowing and blading during regular GCRC working hours only.

CLASS 5:

Subdivisions and local gravel roads

Fourth Priority: Snow covered with plowing and grading. No overtime authorized.

Note: During blizzard conditions instead of plowing major winter routes until completed the Director of Maintenance of his designee direct the district garage crews to plow until the major winter routes are reasonably safe for the public to drive. Once the major winter routes are safe for the public to drive, the crews will commence plowing subdivision and unpaved roads in order to clear the roadways in anticipation of rush hour traffic. The plowing done on expressways will be done by the state trunk line crew. Once the state trunk lines has completed plowing the expressways they will be sent to help the district garages to plow subdivisions and unpaved roads. This action will allow the subdivisions and unpaved roads to be plowed in a much faster time without the use of overtime. All overtime plowing is to be done of major winter routes until finished.

Level of Service
Priority
Class 1
Class 2
Class 3
Class 4
Class 5
Regular
Time/Over
Time
First
XXXX
XXXX
R/T
First
XXXX
O/T
Second
XXXX
R/T
Second
XXXX
XXXX
O/T
Third
XXXX
R/T
Third
O/T
Fourth
XXXX
R/T
Fourth
XXXX
O/T

Note: The Manager Director and the Director of Maintenance have the authority to respond as necessary in order to maintain roadways that are safe for the motoring public.


Communications:

The GCRC will receive information and comments from the public at the following telephone number:

  1. 810.767.4920
  2. 800.249.4027

The toll-free, 800 telephone number can be dialed from any place in the state of Michigan. The dispatching of GCRC vehicles in support of other emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, fire trucks, police and/or sheriff's vehicles, etc., will only be accomplished through the appropriate dispatch center.

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Winter Control Practices

Priority Ranking | Special Note to Citizens | Typical Questions

The County of Genesee Maintenance is responsible for the clearing of snow and winter maintenance on public road right of ways. These functions include:

  • Road plowing
  • Road salting
  • Snow removal

The Maintenance Department also administers policies related to snow removal and right of way obstructions.

Contacts: Maintenance (810) 767-4920 ext. 277
  After Hours (810) 767-4920 ext 277
  Emergency 911

Present policy is to provide snow/ice control functions prioritized as follows. This assumes a normal snowfall event (approximately 2-4 inches in one storm over 12 hours). The approximate time limits are for plowing (and salting as required) from point of commencement (half way through storm).

Priority Ranking

Priority
Ranking
Route
Roads
Initial Duration of Plowing/
Salting to Clear Route, etc.
1
Express-Ways
8 hours
2
Main Streets
4 hours
3
Local Roads
8 hours

The above time limits are based on one storm event with no intervening events during the removal operations or accumulation greater than 4 inches (i.e. if another storm occurs during the clean up of the first storm, the time limits are extended and the degree of clean up is affected).

Special Note to Citizens of Genesee County

  1. Snow Plowing Routes:

    The Genesee County Road Commission administers over 60 separate snow plowing routes. Countywide, the priority order described above is adhered to. The GCRC has many different drivers and vehicles and the routes are completed in the most expedient and cost effective manner possible.

  2. On-Street Parking:

    We ask the cooperation of the public in removing vehicles from the road during snow clearing operations. Cars obstructing cleaning activities or abandoned will be dealt with under township by-laws as appropriate and may involve towing.

In closing, the Maintenance Department thanks the citizens of Genesee County for their past cooperation and assistance and as anticipated for the coming winter.

Anthony Branch
Director of Maintenance

Typical Questions

  • When is my street to be plowed?

    Please give 24 hours for Main roads to be plowed and 48 hours for local roads. We cannot give specific times for specific streets.

  • Why is my driveway plowed in with snow, can it not be cleared?

    Works crews usually plow half of a road to one side and then the other. This means snow is pushed into driveways. This is unavoidable. The cost in manpower and equipment to remove the snow is too great to accommodate in our budget.

  • Why do trucks plow streets that are generally done?

    The trucks are normally blading back the gutter area to allow snowmelt to get to sewers and to widen the traveled area.

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