Why isn't my road plowed right away when it snows?

How does the Berrien County Road Department (BCRD) decide which roads get plowed first? When do subdivision streets get plowed?

  • Snow plow crews follow a pre-determined route when clearing roads of snow. First, we clear the most heavily traveled main roads (primary roads) in Berrien County. This is crucial for it allows police, fire and Emergency medical services access to the major population centers. Local roads and subdivision streets are then cleared after the primary roads are in good condition.
  • Salt is not effective on gravel roads, so it's used primarily on paved roads, and sand is used on the gravel roads. Please note that salt begins to lose its effectiveness on paved roads when the temperature drops below 20 degrees.
  • Two big challenges for a road agency are a heavy snow storm that starts just before rush hour and a storm that continues for several days without letting up.
  • In the first case, traffic slows to a crawl and the trucks can only move with traffic. In the second case, the trucks must stay out on the main roads to keep them open and are delayed getting into subdivisions.
  • The Berrien County Road Department has 300 miles of subdivision streets to get to after we take care of 475 miles of primary roads and 708 miles of secondary (local) roads.

Thank you for your patience!

Show All Answers

1. When do I need to get a permit from the Road Department?
2. Why isn't my road plowed right away when it snows?
3. Where can I get information on current road conditions in Michigan?
4. Why are some roads numbered differently than others?
5. Who is responsible for State highways in Berrien County?
6. What are "Seasonal weight restrictions" and "Frost laws"?
7. How do you handle Gravel Roads (dust, holes, ruts, etc.)?
8. What causes potholes?
9. Where does the Road Department get its operating funds?
10. What are the rules and policies concerning winter weather conditions?