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Road crews need warmer temps and consistent sunshine to break ice from secondary roads

Until the weather warms up or the sun comes out road crews around Muskegon County can only spread salt and sand on secondary roads to improve driving conditions.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — Public schools in Muskegon County closed Monday, Jan. 10 due to packed snow and ice on secondary roads and side streets.

For some districts like Muskegon, Fruitport and Orchard View it is the fourth consecutive snow day due to a winter storm that arrived in Muskegon County Wednesday afternoon.

Much of Muskegon County received more than a foot of snow, followed by freezing rain late Saturday night. Monday temperatures on the lakeshore dropped to the teens leaving packed snow and ice for drivers who weren't traveling on primary roads.

"Just lots of ice. Lots and lots of ice. Makes me want to grab my ice skates, you could skate up and down the road," said Todd Wiggins, who has been out on the roads Monday. "Whitehall Road and M-120 are good and the highway is alright. Give it a month or two and it will be gone."

"Nobody likes driving on ice," said Muskegon County Road Commission Maintenance Superintendent Drew Nichols. "I don't like driving on ice.

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According to Nichols, the road commission needs temperatures to increase to the mid 20s to low 30s before any noticeable progress can be made clearing packed snow and ice from secondary roads in the county.

"We get a little sun and that warm weather and you'll see some improvement," Nichols said. 

In the meantime, crews will continue to spread sand and salt on secondary roads to improve driving conditions.

"I tell everyone it's a science project. The other day we hit 15 or 16 but the sun was out and it burned off instantly. So it's the sun heating up that asphalt road and it will speed up the process," Nichols said.

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