West Michigan road agencies create COVID-19 storm response plan

Posted at 3:31 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 15:31:38-05

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — West Michigan road agencies are planning ahead with contingencies in case any agency’s workforce gets compromised by more cases of COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique obstacles for resource sharing, including our equipment and crews,” Ottawa County Road Commission Managing Director Brett Laughlin said in a news release. “We had to take a closer look at how to help each other while following the safety procedures that have been outlined in various agencies’ COVID-19 response plans.”

Neighboring agencies would assist during storm response efforts to ensure that the region’s main transportation arteries get cleared first, according to the plan.

Ensuring the highest volume, highest speed roads get cleared first is crucial to the safety of residents and area emergency personnel, OCRC Operations Superintendent Ryan Kemppainen said.

Residents should expect delays in lower volume, residential streets, and to see neighboring agencies’ plow trucks out.

"Should we need to enact the joint response plan, we will strive for a seamless deployment of resources that minimizes this type of delay," Kemppainen said.