"The Road" Newsletter -- March 2023

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March 2023 | Volume 13 | Issue 3 | Bookmark and Share

A preview of the upcoming road work season

68th Avenue Resurfacing 2022

Spring is right around the corner, and with the change of season comes the arrival of the 2023 summer road construction season.

The OCRC is once again planning a busy year of road reconstruction, resurfacing, and preventative maintenance work.

This year will include more than $10.6 million in improvements on 17 miles of primary roads, and more than $4.2 million in improvements on more than 7 miles of local roads. Work on both primary and local roads consists of resurfacing work this year.

As a result of the Countywide Road Millage approved by voters in November 2014, nearly 20 miles of this year's primary and local road improvement projects are made possible. Roughly $4.9 million in road millage funding this year is being leveraged with $1.9 million in funding from federal/state grants and $4.6 million in funding from the Road Commission for the nearly 20 miles of work.

Here's a complete rundown of this year's primary and local road resurfacing work:

Primary Road Improvements 2023Local Road Improvements 2023

Preventative Maintenance Work

The OCRC also has roughly $2.4 million in preventative maintenance projects planned, including 53 miles of seal coat "chip seal" surfacing and more than 10 miles of cape seal surfacing. Both seal coat and cape seal surfacing projects can provide a road an additional 5 to 7 years of surface life to a roadway.

Other Local Road Projects

Other local road improvement projects this year include subdivision resurfacing funded by local townships, as well as potential re-graveling of some of the dirt roads in Ottawa County, which is performed through a 50/50 cost sharing program between the Road Commission.

Additionally, some of the township also partner with the Road Commission for the reconstruction and paving of gravel roads.

You can view a complete list of all planned projects for the 2023 season on our website.

Road projects: How are they funded?

The Ottawa County Road Commission utilizes a variety of funding sources to help fund road projects and operations all year long. Here's a breakdown of how the Road Commission is funded:

  • Michigan Transportation Fund The main and largest revenue source for the OCRC comes from the State of Michigan through the Michigan Transportation Fund via Michigan Public Act 51.

    This act guides the State in the collection and disbursement of fuel tax, vehicle registration fees, and vehicle weight taxes. Money that the OCRC receives from the MTF are primarily utilized to maintain the county’s state-certified road system.

    Public Act 51 further defines how funds are distributed to and spent by road agencies, and classifies them as either Primary roads — higher traffic volume roadways that balance mobility and land access — or Local roads, lower traffic volume roads that provide limited mobility, and provide access to residential areas, businesses, and farms.

State Gas Tax Flow Chart
  • Federal and State Grants Most of the county's primary road system is eligible for funding through federal and state programs. OCRC works with the local Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to implement improvements and maximize the use of the funding programs.

    The MPOs for Ottawa County are:
    • Macatawa Area Coordinating Council (MACC)

    • Grand Valley Metropolitan Council (GVMC)

    • West Michigan Metropolitan Transportation Planning Program (WESTPLAN)

    • Rural Task Force – Region 8b 

  • Countywide Road Millage In November 2014, Ottawa County residents passed a millage of ½ mil per year for 10 years (2015-2024) for the purpose of providing a fund for the reconstruction, resurfacing, and preventative maintenance of roads in Ottawa County. The revenue generated for the OCRC from the millage is estimated at over $4 million per year. 

    Road millage projects are selected utilizing the Strategic Improvement Plan process. Since 100% of the millage revenues generated within a township will only be spent on road improvements within that township, there will be some carryover balances in order to properly fund a proposed project.

  • Township Contributions Local townships have been a great partner by providing contributions to improve, maintain, and preserve the transportation infrastructure. OCRC has relied upon this partnership for:

    • Subdivision Resurfacing
    • Local Gravel Road Reconstruction
    • Gravel Road Resurfacing
    • Drainage Improvements
    • Dust Control
    • Special Maintenance Items

Staying connected this construction season

Subscribe to Email Updates

We understand that construction season can be a temporary inconvenience, but it brings long term benefits to county residents.

The Road Commission wants to help make construction season easier on everyone. To help reduce some of the headache, we regularly work to inform residents about ongoing projects and their status using a variety of communications tools.

You can find information about upcoming projects on our website, including: a list of all the roads with planned improvements, an interactive construction project dashboard with a map showing projects and project details.

We also have a complete list of road closures and resurfacing projects, updates about detour routes for closures, and more.

This is all in addition to our Facebook and Twitter pages, which are regularly updated with OCRC news. You can also subscribe to email updates containing weekly construction updates during the road construction season.

We hope you find all of these sources of information useful during construction season!