Messages are checked during regular office hours: Monday - Friday, 7:00 AM - 3:30 PM

     WINTER MAINTENANCE 

Our office is closed on weekends. If there is an emergency please call 911. We work with our emergency services teams to ensure a quick response, day or night.

Emmet County Road Commission maintenance crews work hard to keep county and state roads drivable through the changing conditions of Michigan seasons. Depending on the circumstances, response is adapted to address a variety of variables.

ECRC crews remove snow and ice from roadways as efficiently as possible while working to keep roads open and essential traffic moving. Our objective in times of inclement weather is to return road surfaces to normal winter conditions as soon as is viable, by targeting one pass on all roads within a reasonable time 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 these different circumstances and change in weather conditions.

PRIORITY

As priority for motorist safety, ECRC performs maintenance on the roads with high traffic usage and speeds first. Snow removal crews typically address roadways in the following order:

  1. State Highways (217 miles) - per the priority system provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation

  2. County Primary Roads (244 miles)

  3. Local Paved Roads (589 miles)

  4. County local gravel roads, lake drives, subdivision streets

Check out our Certification Maps to see what roads are classified as.

 

Please note that, depending on snowfall consistency and drifting from high winds in more exposed areas, ECRC may have to return to the state highways and primary roads before plowing local roads and streets. ECRC targets one pass on all county roads, in as timely a manner as possible, during inclement weather.

SPECIAL REQUESTS
ECRC does not accept special requests from the public. Residents in an emergency situation should call 911. The Road Commission will respond as conducted by law enforcement. We wish we could comply with all requests, but equipment and manpower limitations do not permit us to deviate from our predetermined snow plowing system.

DRIVEWAYS

As a necessity of winter maintenance, snow will inevitably get deposited onto driveways during snow removal. ECRC maintenance drivers cannot lift their blade 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 the road) of the driveway to help avoid this issue and avoid the second shovel.

SNOW REMOVAL

RESIDENTS & COMMERCIAL COMPANIES

It is illegal to push snow into or across the roadway, whether by a resident or commercial snow plow driver. It is also illegal for a resident or commercial snow plow driver to place snow, ice or slush on the roadway or shoulder of the roadway that results in the hindrance of safety/vision of the driver of a motor vehicle.

f.a.q. about winter maintenance

What material is used to treat the roads during the winter months, and for what purpose?

We never put down dry salt.  We add a liquid that consists of a brine (that has calcium chloride and a little magnesium chloride) then add about 30% organic (a beet bi-product).  The liquid does several things:  1. Greatly reduces the amount of salt that bounces off the road; 2. Starts melting snow and ice immediately as the liquid is a much more efficient snow and ice melter;  3. Also allows us to reduce the amount of salt because the liquid does a great job melting snow and ice; 4.  The organic is relatively sticky so the salt and brine stay on the road longer;  5. The organic makes the salt and brine less corrosive than plain water.

 

We do have to put sand down on our roads when there is an ice storm.  We also have to put sand down on our gravel roads as salt does not work on them.

Can I move snow from my driveway to the ditch across the road?

No. Per the Michigan Vehicle Code section 257.677a which reads, "...a person shall not remove or cause snow to be removed, snow, ice or slush onto or across a roadway in a manner which obstructs the:
1) "safety vision of the driver of a motor vehicle" - meaning, you must not create or leave high banks along the edge of the road.
2) "or on any roadway or highway" meaning, all snow coming off your personal property must remain on your property. Snow removal operations must NOT leave piles of snow in the road or ridges on the road.

Will the Road Commission replace or repair my mailbox that the plow hit?

If the county truck came in physical contact with your mailbox there is a reimbursement policy. If your mailbox was damaged by snow that was thrown from the passing plow the Road Commission does not repair or replace the mailbox as we can't control the way the snow falls from the trucks while trying to make the roads safe to drive on. Mailbox Reimbursement Form

Is it okay to park on the side of the road if my driveway is filled with snow?

No. The Road Commission needs to plow the whole road. If your vehicle is in the road when the plow comes by it could be towed.

 

When will my road be plowed?

 

As priority for motorist safety, ECRC performs maintenance on the roads with high traffic usage and speeds first. Snow removal crews typically address roadways in the following order:

  1. State Highways - per the priority system provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation

  2. County Primary Roads

  3. Local Paved Roads

  4. County local gravel roads, lake drives, subdivision streets

 

Please note that, depending on snowfall consistency and drifting from high winds in more exposed areas, ECRC may have to return to the state highways and primary roads before plowing local roads and streets. ECRC targets one pass on all county roads, in as timely a manner as possible, during inclement weather.

Why is the snow plow operator driving so fast considering the road conditions?

It might appear at times that the snow plow operator is driving too fast for road conditions. While operators drive safe and at legal speeds, at times the snow plow operator needs to “roll” the snow to remove it from the road. A sufficient speed needs to be maintained by the driver to do this and clear the street. Typically, a snow plow drivers travels at a speed of 35 MPH or less.

Why do you sometimes salt instead of plow, or plow instead of salt?

Different types of storms require the use of different snow-fighting techniques. The decision whether to salt or plow depends upon the expected weather conditions. For example, if the temperature is below 20 degrees and not expected to rise, salt will not be effective. But if the sun is shining and the temperature is 20 degrees or more and expected to remain steady or to rise, then salt would be more effective. The decision whether to plow or salt is made with great consideration and based on the latest weather information available. Plowing under the wrong conditions can create a polished street surface, resulting in dangerous glare ice. The decisions made by an experienced crew and supervisory personnel are critical.

I saw a plow truck parked in a parking lot during a bad snowstorm. Why was it there instead of on the roads working?

Snow plow operators take pride in clearing the streets on their routes as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Driving a snowplow is demanding, tiring work. Common sense and good safety practices dictate that each driver should take a 30-minute break every six hours. It is dangerous, both for the snowplow driver and the public, if a fatigued driver is behind the wheel of a snowplow. It is in the best interest of the all concerned for the drivers to take occasional breaks.

Why do snow plow trucks sometimes just ride around when it's not snowing?

There are a few reasons why you might see plows on the roads on snowless days. Every driver undergoes pre-season training. Skills must be sharpened and routes need to be learned and relearned. The trucks may be scanning the county for secondary cleaning (cleaning the roads where vehicles were parked during the plowing of the roads). The trucks can be salting main break areas that are out of their view, or other problem areas.

Visit

2265 E. Hathaway Road

Harbor Springs, MI 49740

Call

T: 231 347-8142

F: 231 347-5787

Questions/Comments

ecrcsecty@emmetcrc.com

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