Crews: Expect a ‘sloppy commute’ Wednesday due to snow

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Officials with the Kent County Road Commission are warning drivers to expect a “sloppy commute” Wednesday morning.

With a blast of winter weather in the forecast, road crews began anti-icing treatments Tuesday afternoon. 

Jerry Byrne, the director of operations for the Kent County Road Commission, said it’s not the ice but the slush that may have drivers slipping through their morning commute.

“When we look at the snow that’s predicted (and) the amount of moisture that’s in the snow… drivers are going to have the potential to hydroplane,” Byrne said.

With this in mind, Byrne said crews will take a strategic approach when it comes to clearing the roads of slush and snow.

“Our energy will be scraping that off so that people aren’t hydroplaning that snow,” he said.

Byrne said the bit of good news is that they’re expecting fewer cars on the road than usual.

“Our volumes are down typically between Christmas and New Year’s, so that’s a good thing,” Byrne said. “You don’t have the schools in session, so we’re not dealing with that. Some businesses are shut down in between the holidays. So there’s actually less volume we’re going deal with.”

The Kent County Road Commission is fully staffed, but there are protocols in place should workers call out due to a coronavirus outbreak.

“We’re prepared to help our neighboring counties out,” Byrne said. “We have a pact where if somebody was hit (with an outbreak) and had to lose a significant portion of their drivers, we can send drivers there.”

Additional COVID-19 protocols are also in place, such as disinfecting the trucks between each shift.

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