Sudden Thaw Soaks Mecosta County Roadways

As the thaw continues counties are keeping a close eye on their river levels but already many are having trouble with their roads.

The rapid thaw and added rain are washing out roads all over counties like Mecosta.

“If you can control the freeze and thaw cycle in Michigan you’d be a millionaire,” says Tim Nestle of the Mecosta County Road Commission.

It happens almost every spring. The snow melts, the rains come and areas flood. Mecosta County is seeing firsthand the results when it all happens in one day.

“We are already out of signs so there won’t be signs on every single crossing but we’re going to try to throw cones or some kind of warning,” says Nestle.

Roads all over the county are water logged. One of the biggest issue are culverts damming up, from ice and snow built up over the winter.

“As we find them we try to unplug them but there’s some that you can’t unplug,” says Nestle, “You can’t get to them because there’s so much snow.”

One of the issues is as farmers look to get every inch out of their land there’s not much space between the farm field and the road. When the snow was piled up high during the winter, it is slowly melting, not allowing the water to go anywhere and it just backs up over the road

“A lot of people like to push the snow from the driveways, across the road and into the ditch,” says Nestle, “Or next to the driveway and that just makes it worse.”

This spring has been a perfect formula for a mess, a snowy winter followed by the first real warm day soaked by rain.

“It’s not your typical spring that we’ve had lately,” says Nestle, “But it is a considerable amount of water and with the ground still been frozen, it causes issues.”

The water isn’t going anywhere soon, more rain and above freezing days will keep the cycle going.

“This is day one,” says Nestle, “We expect more.”

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