Beverly Hills, MI -- The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) advises drivers to use caution on gravel roads during the upcoming weeks.
Weather over the past few weeks, ranging from snow, rain, frigid temperatures and the current warmer conditions, is causing very rough conditions on many of the nearly 760 miles of gravel roads in Oakland County. In many places, the ground remains frozen below the road surface meaning there is nowhere for water from the rain and melting snow to go. Until the ground completely thaws, the water simply cannot be absorbed, which is causing soft and wet/muddy conditions on many gravel road surfaces. Sunny days and consistently warmer temperatures will tremendously help dry the gravel roads so proper grading can be done.
Placing heavy equipment, such as road graders, on the roads can make the situation worse, so crews will continue to only spot grade and add material where possible. The rain has also contributed to washout-like conditions, especially in some hilly areas.
“We are doing everything we can to maintain the gravel roads,” explained RCOC Managing Director Dennis Kolar. “However, despite our best efforts, recent freezing conditions combined with snow, rain and warmer weather have made most of the gravel roads a maintenance challenge.”
Culverts under driveways to businesses and homes should also be cleared of leaves and debris to assure that storm water will properly flow through ditches and reduce the potential for road flooding. “It’s important for motorists to be on the lookout for water over the road regardless of whether they are driving on a paved or gravel road,” Kolar added.
RCOC crews continue to do everything possible with available resources, including the agency’s 19 graders, to address the gravel roads throughout Oakland County. To report any gravel road issues, call 877-858-4804 or contact RCOC on-line at: https://www.rcocweb.org (click on the “Report an Issue” button at the top of the home page: https://www.rcocweb.org/FormCenter/Contact-Us-4/Contact-Us-Form-43)
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