Since 1990, the Kent County Road Commission’s Adopt-a-Road program has invited community volunteers to keep their favorite corridors litter-free. Celebrating its 25th anniversary on July 24, 2015, the program has grown to encompass over 200 stretches of roadway cleaned by a wide range of groups including families, community organizations, and businesses. Supporters adopt specific roads for myriad reasons: as a simple philanthropic gesture, to support the area in which they live, to serve the community where they own a business, or to honor the memory of a loved one. Regardless of the reason, the work conducted exemplifies the positive collaborative spirit shared between KCRC and the community it serves. This past May, the Richmond family of Lowell, Michigan, demonstrated how “fun” roadside clean-up can be by inviting extended family members to volunteer for this effort in front of the family farm. In loving memory of the family’s patriarch and matriarch, Jerrold and Diane Richmond, the impressive clean-up crew, totaling 22 children and 10 adults, spent the day clearing debris, sharing laughs and recounting fond memories. “We adopted the road we grew up on in honor of Mom and Dad,” explained Andrea Richmond Wirgau. “I’m very proud and pleased to see their names every time I turn towards home. They both deeply respected the land, and we are able to carry on their legacy by caring for it today and in the future – something so simple, yet powerful.” Groups of 7 or more interested in adopting a road may apply by submitting an Adopt-A-Road Permit application, available at www.kentcountyroads.net or by contacting KCRC’s Permit Department at 616-242-6920.
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL In the mid-70’s the City of Rockford requested that the Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) take over ownership of Rockford’s Division Street segment of 10-Mile Road. The KCRC accepted the offer under the conditions that the City would first bring the road up to County standards and enter into a 50/50 cost share agreement for future major reconstruction. Since the inception of the agreement the KCRC has provided little, other than remedial repairs, to the 3-lane stretch of roadway between Main Street and Wolverine Blvd. (think between the Independent Bank and North Rockford Middle School). Today 10-Mile Rd. is one of the most heavily trafficked east/west roads in northern Kent County. Daily the roadway carries, on average, some 20,000+ vehicles through the very heart of Rockford. Not only is it busy, at times it is one of the bumpiest, bone-jarring, teeth-rattling, shock-absorber busting stretches of road one might ever care (NOT) to traverse! The thumping of tires into potholes, especially at night, has caused many a sleepless night for the residents of the homes that line both sides. All that is soon to change. The KCRC is currently seeking bids, with a May 31st deadline, to mill and resurface the old roadway with a smooth new asphalt topcoat. Work is anticipated to begin in June after the close of school and will be short-lived, requiring 4 to 10 days. It is as yet to be determined whether the work will be done during daylight hours or at night. As there are no viable or practical detours around the construction zone it would be more advantageous and quicker if the work required were to be done during evening hours when traffic is at a low ebb. The $300,000 dollar cost of the project will be shared equally between KCRC and the City of Rockford. The County will allow the City to make two $75,000 payments over two years rather than require a lump sum payment of $150,000 upon completion. Additionally, Rockford plans to take advantage of the construction by decommissioning an old 4” water main that runs under the roadway surface between Main St. and Fremont St. Doing so will require the City to open the surface at the intersections of […]