Road Agencies Formulate Joint COVID-19 Storm Response Plan
While West Michigan road agencies continue to take steps to reduce COVID-19 exposure and prevent infection in the workplace, they also are planning contingencies should a workforce of one agency, or multiple agencies, be compromised by increased cases of COVID-19.
“The pandemic poses unique obstacles for helping one another and sharing resources. So we came up with strategies to assist across jurisdictions that aligned with safety procedures identified in each agency’s COVID-19 response plan,” said Jerry Byrne, KCRC’s deputy managing director of operations.
Should a workforce be severely compromised, neighboring agencies would assist during storm response efforts to ensure that the region’s main transportation arteries -- the highest volume, highest speed roads -- are cleared first. Therefore, motorists and residents may see trucks and other equipment from outside jurisdictions operating on their network roads.
“It is vital to the safety of our residents and emergency personnel that the highest volume roads throughout the region receive priority. This means that there may be delay in lower volume, residential streets, and you could see another agency’s plow trucks on your street – or even a truck from Kent County assisting in another area,” said Byrne.
Byrne emphasized that the joint storm response plan is a contingency plan and may not be necessary. Should agencies need to enact it, Byrne said that each would strive for a seamless deployment of resources to minimize delay.