Road Maintenance

Road Funding

Our board adopted the Permanent Funding Road Solution Resolution (PDF) on July 24, 2014 requesting the governor and the legislature to develop a long-term solution to funding Michigan's road system. Legislature responded to a long-term solution in August 2014. You can learn more on the Local Roads Matter to Michigan website.

Gravel Roads - Grading/Blading

Just as the snowplow routes were amended for the winter season to improve inefficiencies, our gravel road blade routes were reorganized. Road blading will be done approximately every 3 weeks and will depend on weather, scheduling and brining applications. Seasonal roads are separate and will be done once in the spring after non-seasonal gravel roads are completed.

Townships were offered a cost-sharing plan to improve gravel roads. The Grand Traverse County Road Commission (GTCRC) provided labor and equipment if the township provides the gravel. Contact your township to determine their ability to participate in this plan for the future.

Dust Control

Each year, brine agreements are executed by the GTCRC and our 13 townships to elect the number of brine applications they wish to receive. As the approved documents are received, brining schedules are developed to assure roads are graded in preparation for brining. The first brine application typically takes place in late May or early June (weather permitting) and a 2nd one (if township elected) in late August or early September. Brine application for the spring of 2014 was delayed due to a long winter.

Seal Coating

Seal coating, more commonly referred to as "tar and chip," is a cost effective method of preserving a road surface. The surface is prepared by filling any potholes and correcting any crown/shoulder problems in advance. Hot emulsions (tar) is placed, following by a layer of stone (chip) and then compacted. Motorists must reduce their speed while traveling on a recently seal coated road. Vehicle traffic assists in compacting the stone. The road will be noisy and gritty, but this process improves the traction. Excess stone is swept away for reuse.

In May 2011, GTCRC began offering townships a cost-sharing program for seal coating roads. The township will be responsible for material costs and the GTCRC will be responsible for the equipment and labor costs. In 2011, Garfield Township participated on many subdivision roads. In 2012, Paradise Township partnered on 2 major sections.

Fog seal, an extra layer placed following seal coating, reduces dust and improves both the effectiveness and appearance of the project.

Seasonal Road Information

On May 17, 1989, the GTCRC adopted a seasonal road system pursuant to Act 184 of 1981. There are approximately 200 miles of designated seasonal roads in Grand Traverse County. Seasonal roads are county roads and permits to do work within the road right-of-way are required. Seasonal roads do have signs designating them as such.

Routine maintenance generally consists of grading once or twice per year. Seasonal roads in Grand Traverse County generally receive maintenance (grading) in the spring. The Road Commission does not maintain or snowplow seasonal roads between the months of November - April. NO maintenance is conducted on these roads during these months.  Therefore, a seasonal road may not be open to public travel during this time. Private landowners need to perform their own snow removal.

In order to receive winter maintenance, seasonal roads must be upgraded to the current Road Commission's standards at other's expense. A public hearing is required to make changes to the seasonal road system.

For a quick overview of seasonal roads, view this video created by our fellow road commission in Antrim County.  

Questions & Concerns

Many people like the peace and quiet of a seasonal road. But before purchasing property located on a narrow county road in the woods, be prepared to add some money to your budget for snowplowing and road improvements.

As seasonal road questions generally arise due to an underlying legal activity or issues (mortgages, land divisions, sale of properties, etc.), please contact us in writing. Please provide us with your name, address, and phone number/fax/email. We also need the property (tax) identification number or address. You will generally receive a response within 1 work day or less. Contact information is as follows:
1881 LaFranier Road
Traverse City, MI 49696
Fax: 231-929-1836