OCRC 'The Road' Newsletter -- September 2022

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September 2022 | Volume 12 | Issue 9 | Bookmark and Share

2022-23 road salt prices come into focus

Salt Truck Loading

The Ottawa County Road Commission is starting its prep work for the upcoming winter maintenance season. 

This includes learning what it will pay for road salt for the upcoming year.

This year the OCRC is seeing a modest increase in the cost of road salt, and will be paying $63.08 per ton for an allocation of 20,000 tons.

This is a dollar more per ton compared to what the OCRC paid during the 2021-22 winter season when it paid $62.08 per ton.

Each year in April, the Road Commission orders its winter salt supply via the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget’s MiDeal statewide purchasing program.

Prices aren’t known until later in the year once salt companies bid on the contracts.

The Road Commission is committed to purchasing at least 80 percent of its allocated tonnage, and has guaranteed pricing for up to 130 percent of the salt at the contracted price.

Anything that is purchased beyond that allocation, and the OCRC could wind up paying extra.

Salt Prices Graph

OCRC Historic Salt Price Comparison

Understanding types of roadside signage

Did you know that the OCRC has about 18,000 traffic control signs at 13,500 locations within the road right-of-way in Ottawa County?

Signs are found on nearly every corridor to convey direction and information to motorists and those using non-motorized transportation.

These signs are placed along a roadway to guide, warn, and regulate the flow of the roadway users.

Signs are placed only where warranted by facts and engineering studies.

Regulatory Signs

Traffic signs are classified as 3 types: Regulatory, Warning, and Guide.

Regulatory signs give notice of traffic laws or regulations.

Some types of regulatory signs include:

  • Stop
  • Speed Limit
  • No Parking
  • Weight Limits
Warning Signs

Warning signs call attention to conditions on or adjacent to a roadway that are potentially hazardous to traffic operations.

Some types of warning signs include:

  • Stop ahead 
  • Curve
  • Road Closed
  • Directional Arrows
Guide Signs

Guide signs show route designations, destinations, directions, distances, services, points of interest, and other information.

Some types of guide signs include:

  • Street signs
  • Place markers
  • Services

The Road Commission regularly takes inventory of these traffic signs. This inventory identifies sign type, size, location, date of installation, face material, support type, and maintenance information. All of this information is used to to schedule necessary upgrades as needed by the hard-working staff in our Sign Shop.

Back-to-school roadside reminder for residents

School Bus Safety

Students are back to school, and that means drivers, parents and children need to take extra care at bus stops.

More school-age pedestrians are killed during bus stop times (6-7:59 a.m. and 3-3:59 p.m.) than any other time.

With this in mind, it's important to teach your children to be alert, and if you're driving during school hours, remember to be careful.

Here's a refresher on how to react when driving near a school bus.

Remember to treat the bus lights like a traffic signal.

  • Flashing Yellow Lights=Prepare to Stop.
  • Flashing Red Lights=STOP!
  • Flashing Hazard Warning Lights=Proceed with Caution.

By following these steps, you can ensure that everyone has a safe commute during, before and
after-school hours.

Septic Smart Week runs Sept. 19-23, 2022

Septic Smart Week Logo

The Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW) reminds residents to be SepticSmart.

SepticSmart Week is an annual event that occurs the third week of September.

Proper septic system use and routine care are vital to protecting public health, preserving our highly valued groundwater, lakes, streams and waterways, and avoiding costly repairs that can result from neglect.

Here are some tips to help you maintain a good septic system:

  • Have your system inspected every three years by a qualified professional or according to your state/ local health department’s recommendations.
  • Have your septic tank pumped, when necessary, generally every three to five years.
  • Avoid pouring harsh products (e.g., oils, grease, chemicals, paint, medications) down the drain
  • Discard non-degradable products in the trash (e.g., floss, disposable wipes, cat litter) instead of flushing them
  • Keep cars and heavy vehicles parked away from the drainfield and tank
  • Follow the system manufacturer’s directions when using septic tank cleaners and additives
  • Repair leaks and use water efficient fixtures to avoid overloading the system
  • Maintain plants and vegetation near the system to ensure roots do not block drains
  • Use soaps and detergents that are low-suds, biodegradable, and low- or phosphate-free
  • Prevent system freezing during cold weather by inspecting and insulating vulnerable system parts (e.g., the inspection pipe and soil treatment area).

Labor Day 2022 holiday office closure reminder

Labor Day 2022

The Ottawa County Road Commission wishes everyone in Ottawa County a relaxing and safe Labor Day holiday!

In observance of the Labor Day holiday, the Road Commission offices will be closed on Friday, Sept. 2, and Monday, Sept. 5.

We will reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 7:30 a.m.