Winter Maintenance

Safe driving conditions are always a priority for the Road Commission of Kalamazoo County (RCKC), wintertime is no exception. In total, we are responsible for approximately 1,270 miles of snow and ice control. By monitoring weather forecasts frequently, we are able to meet winter’s challenges and implement an effective winter maintenance plan.

As part of our on-going winter maintenance assessments, we have identified a level of service to provide advanced coverage during peak travel and commute times. RCKC has incorporated a 3-shift program by adding a second and third shift during the winter months. Generally, plowing operations begin when slippery conditions exist, or snow levels reach about two inches on major roads. If snow continues to fall, or is predicted, we are prepared to respond accordingly. Special attention is paid to bridge surfaces as they tend to freeze more rapidly.

When snowfall occurs overnight, plowing begins at 12am so that the roads will be as clear as possible by the time most are starting their day. If weather or driving conditions warrant, we work with law enforcement to handle emergency situations. 911 handles emergency calls for the RCKC after regular business hours and can alert our team to respond to a particular problem.

The following priorities have been identified for winter maintenance:

1. Designated snow route roads  

2. Snow Maintenance Districts

  • Remainder of primary roads
  • Local Roads
  • Subdivision/Plat Roads
  • Dead-end and cul-de-sac roads

Additional information may be gleaned from the RCKC Winter Maintenance Brochure.  You can also sign up to receive updates from the RCKC by signing up for RCKC Connect.

Current State of Snowplow Technology

Winter Tips

  • Always allow extra time for travel and drive for conditions.
  • Don’t crowd the plow. Plow drivers have limited visibility and they cannot see directly behind their trucks. Avoid passing or traveling next to a plow.
  • Never pass a plow on the right side, the wing plows are often hidden by the snow cloud being kicked up by the plow.
  • Do not park or abandon a vehicle or other objects in the right-of-way.
  • Keep children away from snow piles near the roadway; do not build snow forts, make tunnels, or play in snowbanks near the roads
  • Keep away from the edge of the roadway as you wait for the school bus, get the mail, etc.
  • Stay away from the end of the driveway when a snowplow is approaching.  Hidden objects under the snow, when thrown by the snowplow, can cause serious injury

View Archive