County road commissions to coordinate if hit hard by COVID-19

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — County road commissions across West Michigan are changing up their plan of attack for plowing if their teams are hit hard by COVID-19. 

The plan for 14 counties in West Michigan is to share their drivers and equipment with other jurisdictions if a certain road commission is down drivers due to the pandemic. 

“They are going to have patience and understanding. When they hear or see Kent County trucks in Ottawa County or Muskegon County or Allegan County and their neighborhood street isn’t done, their first reaction is ‘what are you doing somewhere else take care of your own first.’ We have to look beyond our boundaries, our political boundaries and make sure we are taking care of the main flow of traffic first,” said Jerry Burne, deputy managing director of operations with the Kent County Road Commission. 

The plan would send drivers and trucks into other counties to help them clean off the roads that see the most traffic. 

“It’s going to work on the main roads. Obviously, we want to handle the main roads first no matter if it’s in Kent County or Montcalm or Barry or Allegan. So, it’s really a matter of spreading that philosophy out through the whole region instead of just Kent County,” Byrne said. 

The bottom line is many people in West Michigan may notice it’s taking longer to get roads cleared this year if county road commissions get hit hard by COVID-19. 

“If we happen to get hit hard and they send people to us and you see a Muskegon County truck in a subdivision, be thankful. It means they are giving up something too,” said Byrne. 

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