Press release wrong, CCRC will plow roads on weekend

November 25, 2015

By Rosemary Horvath

An outdated news release was issued inadvertently from the Clare County Road Commission last week containing misinformation officials have since cleared up.

“We’re looking to do more,” announced Deepak Gupta, engineer-manager, about having trucks clearing snow over weekends.

The release indicated due to a revenue shortfall, the road commission did not have the resources to pay crews overtime. That may have been true at one time but not for this winter season, Gupta explained.
Gupta regrets the mistake because it caused alarm among rural citizens, especially older adults who feared they would be unable to reach medical treatment or fill prescriptions if they were unable to travel roads.

Gupta made an emergency call to the Review on Friday and staff was able to add a correction and an updated story on its website and Facebook page. Following is the updated corrected press release:
The Clare County Road Commission is responsible for maintaining over 1000 miles of public county roadway and more than 250 lane miles of state highways.  As in the past, snow removal operations will be prioritized by traffic volume: expressways and state highways are first to be plowed, followed by major county roads, rural county section line roads, and finally subdivision and dead-end roads.

The process of opening all roads in the county can take up to three full working days after a storm ends, with widening and cleanup taking several more days to complete.

During extended or closely-spaced storms, snow removal equipment will concentrate on keeping main roads open, possibly delaying snow removal on many local, subdivision and dead-end roads for several more days.  Factors such as temperature, wind and moisture content of the snow also have an effect on the amount of time it takes to get the roadways cleared.

Deepak Gupta, road commission engineer-manager, said plows will clear county roads when necessary over weekends because for this year there is sufficient revenue to cover the cost of overtime.
Individuals can help make winter travel safer for everyone by not parking in the roadway, by not plowing snow into or across a roadway, and by not piling snow in a manner that obstructs the vision of motorists.  MCL Section 257.677a states that “A person shall not deposit, or cause to be deposited, snow, ice or slush on any roadway or highway”.

Winter snow removal operations also occasionally result in damages to mailboxes, which are allowed in the road right-of-way as a convenience to residents.  Snow pushed from snowplows has considerable force and may damage mailboxes and posts.  This is unavoidable, especially with wet, heavy snow.
Residents are asked to understand the situation and replace their own mailboxes.

The road commission strives to open the roads as quickly as possible and regrets any inconvenience from delays.

For more information about winter maintenance in Michigan, contact the Clare County Road Commission at (989) 539 – 2151 between 7:00am and 3:30pm, M-F.

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