Midland County road crews taking advantage of warm January weather

MIDLAND COUNTY (WJRT) (1/27/2020) - Crews from the Midland County Road Commission are taking advantage of warm weather this month.

Warm weather impacting roads repair efforts in Midland County.

Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that through January 26, both Flint and Saginaw are experiencing a top 10 warmest January on record.

Flint is sitting at 5th all time with an average temperature of 32.1 degrees. Saginaw is ranked 7th with an average temperature of 30.2 degrees.

This warm weather means less days with snowfall, which is something that road crews from Midland County have been taking advantage of.

"There's a lot of different things that we can do while they aren't plowing snow," said Jon Myers, the managing director for the Midland County Road Commission.

Myers said the warm weather and lack of snow is allowing crews to work on many different projects.

"That leads to us being able to do more pothole patching but it also allows us to do more work on the gravel roads, some drainage work," he said. "Address some other concerns than just potholes and things like that."

Myers said the main reason for that is because crews are not having to devote a lot of time to clearing streets after snow or ice.

"For us, it's kind of nice not having to use a lot of salt or brine for the winter events," he said. "Temperatures-wise, it doesn't really matter either way it's just the amount of days that we're fighting snow and ice is the big thing."

The warm weather this month could be leading to the formation of additional potholes.

Myers said that potholes form when water seeps into the roads and then freezes and expands. And then once the ice melts, it leaves a void from where the ice was.

Warmer days this month is leading to almost a constant freeze-and-thaw cycle. With temperatures rising above freezing during the afternoon and falling below it overnight.

Myers said that crews have been spending the majority of the time working to maintain gravel roads in the county but are also making repairs to potholes to make sure roads are in good condition.

"We are doing our best to create reliable roads, stuff that isn't falling apart [and] their not causing damage to your cars," he said.