The Kent County Road Commission and the townships we serve have been receiving inquiries regarding the condition of gravel roads and amount of dust on them. We understand that residents and motorists are frustrated, and we want to explain why our typical dust control program is not as effective as it typically is this time of year.
Calcium Chloride is the primary ingredient in KCRC’s mineral well brine dust control application. It is “hygroscopic,” meaning it attracts moisture from the air and the surrounding area. By attracting the moisture, mineral well brine can help keep the road’s surface damp, which in turn, controls the dust.
In order for the mineral well brine to be effective, there must be moisture to “attract.” Without rainfall and/or high humidity levels, the dust control application has limited effectiveness.
The normal rainfall for the month of May is three inches. We are currently at less than one inch. Without more precipitation, additional dust control applications are not practical or beneficial. In these dry conditions, the chloride can turn to powder and blow like the dust.
Staff will continue to monitor conditions and schedule dust control applications when more rainfall and/or high humidity levels make it beneficial to do so.