Will GTCRC clean-up dead animals in the road?

While Road Commissions have a statutory duty to keep roads in reasonable repair so that they are reasonably safe and convenient for public travel, Road Commissions do not have a statutory duty to remove natural accumulations, like roadkill carcasses, from county roads under their jurisdiction.  

Grand Traverse County Road Commission elects to manage roadkill carcasses as a courtesy to the public as follows

  • Small carcasses which do not pose a hazard or are outside the path of vehicular traffic will be left where they fell to decompose naturally. 

  • Large carcasses, other than those on public roads adjacent to state owned land, may be removed and placed on the surface of the ground elsewhere if all of the following conditions are met:
    • The carcass will be placed in a remote area that is at least 1,000 feet from any neighboring resident or at a greater distance as necessary to prevent a nuisance odor condition that may cause an unreasonable interference with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property for neighboring residents.
    • The carcass must be placed in the public road right-of-way 
    • The carcass is not placed within 100 feet of another carcass.
    • The carcass does not come into contact with surface or groundwater.
  • Large carcasses within the public road right-of-way adjacent to state-owned land will be left where they fell unless they pose a hazard to public travel.
    • Should the carcass pose a hazard, it may be moved out of the path of travel at as close to a 90-degree angle as possible towards the state-owned land.
    • If there is insufficient room to accommodate a carcass between the traveled portion of a highway and a ditch, it may be moved to a suitable elevation beyond the backslope of the ditch.

In cases where the hazard to public travel cannot be eliminated through adherence to these steps, either closing the roadway until the hazard no longer exists or other disposal methods may be considered.   


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1. Will GTCRC clean-up dead animals in the road?