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KCRC Reviews Successful Construction Season

KCRC Reviews Successful Construction Season

Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) presented a summary of the 2017 construction season to the Kent County Board of Commissioners on Thursday, November 30. Surpassing targets, KCRC achieved 403 lane miles of improvements, an increase of 74 lane miles over what was accomplished in 2016.

“Our organization is built upon a culture of customer service,” said Mark Rambo, KCRC’s board chair, “This is not something that just happens - it requires continued focus on building relationships with our townships, strategic planning and performance improvement. These principles keep our organization relevant and position us for success.”

Long Range Plan: Benchmark Progress
Steve Warren, KCRC’s managing director, explained that the organization identifies annual performance targets within its Long Range Plan to benchmark progress towards achieving long term road and bridge condition objectives. In 2017, under each road improvement designation - reconstruction, resurfacing and preservation - the number of actual improvements surpassed targets.

“This is not because we set our targets too low,” said Warren. “Much of our work – and response – is weather dependent. Therefore, last year’s mild winter left additional funds for improvements, and good summer conditions, along favorable material prices, allowed our crews and contractors to achieve more within the constraints of the construction season.”

Township Collaboration
Warren acknowledged the commitment from the 21 townships within Kent County who partner with KCRC to fund local road improvements. While projects on KCRC’s primary roads are funded by allocations from the Michigan Transportation Fund and grants, improvements on the local roads are funded through KCRC’s township matching program. Each township collaborates with KCRC to identify local road projects and then splits the cost for the improvements. “Neither Kent County, nor its townships, have road millages,” said Warren, “so we applaud our townships for the collaborative approach that continues to increase the amount of improvements made on our local roads and bridges.”

Statewide Transportation Funding Package
Warren also discussed the 2015 enactment of the statewide transportation funding package, which has also helped KCRC achieve more. This year, as the funding package began its five-year phase-in period, KCRC received an increase of $7.7 million, which contributed to a net revenue increase of $2.5 million. As articulated in KCRC’s Long Range Plan, KCRC dedicated 100 percent of the increase to roads, investing 75 percent in construction and preservation and 25 percent in routine maintenance.

“We intend to continue this commitment,” said Warren, “but it is incumbent upon the Michigan Legislature to maintain their commitment as well by fully implementing the package.”

The full implementation of the transportation funding package is dependent upon annual appropriations by the Michigan Legislature from the State’s General Fund, which totals $600 million for 2021. The General Fund dollars were enacted into law by the Legislature but are not constitutionally guaranteed.

“Therefore, we must clearly articulate the consequences to our roads and bridges should the Legislature fail to fully allocate General Fund revenues in the future as promised,” said Warren.

2017 Construction Season
The following is a summary of the major road improvements completed during the 2017 construction season and a look forward to the 2018 program.

Primary Roads: 657 centerline miles (1,577 lane miles)
Local Roads: 1,305 centerline miles (2,620 lane miles)

Lane miles of improvements accomplished in 2017: 403 lane miles

Byron Center Avenue

2.5 mile cold milling and HMA resurfacing from 84th Street to 64th Street. Reconfigured south mile to 3-lanes in Byron Township

Peach Ridge Avenue
3.5 mile crush and shape HMA resurfacing from 0.5 Mile South of 18 Mile Road to 21 Mile Road in Tyrone Township.

Kalamazoo Avenue (pictured, below)
1.0 mile of reconstruction and widening to a three-lane section from 84th Street to 76th Street in Gaines Township.


13 Mile Road @ Alpine Avenue - Widened and reconstructed 13 Mile Road to provide a left turn lane at Alpine Avenue in Sparta Township.

28th Street and Kraft Avenue - Widened 28th Street and Kraft Avenue to accommodate dual left turn lanes for eastbound 28th Street to northbound Kraft Avenue in Cascade Township.

Cannonsburg Road @ Myers Lake Avenue - Widened intersection to provide a center left-turn on Cannonsburg Road. Realigned Cannonsburg Ski Area drive with Myers Lake Avenue in Cannon Township.

Crahen Avenue north of Fulton Street (M-21) - Realigned and reconstructed Crahen Avenue from RR bridge to the M-21& Forest Hill Avenue intersection in Grand Rapids Township.

Whitneyville Avenue @ 68th Street - Widened the intersection to provide a center left-turn lane on Whitneyville Avenue and extended the left turn and right turn only lanes on 68th Street in Caledonia Township.


21 Mile Road over Creek – Replaced existing triple corrugated metal culverts with twin precast concrete box culverts.

Jupiter Avenue over the Grand River (pictured below) - Replaced expansion joints and sealed concrete bridge deck in Plainfield Township.



Primary Chipseal 69 Miles
Asphalt Resurface (crush & shape, mill/fill, overlay) 8 Miles
Local Chipseal (Township cost share projects 5 miles) 62 Miles
Microsurface (Township cost share projects) 6 Miles
Asphalt Resurface (Township cost share; crush & shape, mill/fill, overlay) 27 Miles
Gravel Resurface (natural gravel & limstone) 13 Miles


Lappley Avenue - 1.0 mile from 14 Mile Road to 15 Mile Road in Oakfield Township


McPherson Street – Alden Nash Avenue – Lincoln Lake Avenue, Vergennes Township

Egner Street – East of Cedar Springs Avenue, Solon Township

13 Mile Road – West of Podunk Avenue, Oakfield Township


Primary road and bridge projects utilizing State and Federal grant monies:

10 Mile Road Reconstruction – Alpine Avenue to Pine Island Drive
13 Mile Road Reconstruction – Kenowa Avenue to Peach Ridge Avenue
Knapp Street Widening – Dunnigan Avenue to West of Grand River Drive Knapp Street Widening – E. of Bridge over Grand River to West of Pettis Avenue Pine Island Drive @ Post Drive – Left-turn lane
Spaulding Avenue south of Cascade Road – Widen for right turn lane
68th St. Bridge over the Thornapple River – Deck repair, overlay and joint replacement