Forest Stewardship Planning
The Newaygo County Road Commission manages under its jurisdiction a complex transportation system with over 1,500 miles of paved, sand, and gravel roads in an area of approximately 864 square miles. This roadway infrastructure is intricately connected to the physical environment of Newaygo County, one that is rich and diverse in economic, natural, and recreational resources. The NCRC has made a long standing commitment to Newaygo County to optimize the engineered functionality of all the roads under its administration and minimize their potential impacts to water quality and wildlife ecosystems.
The Grand Valley State University Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) has for over a decade encouraged partnerships to extend its mission to protect, preserve, and improve water resources throughout the state of Michigan. Together, the AWRI and NCRC propose to develop a computerized system to manage, view, and maintain an estimated 1,300 stream crossing structures that exist in Newaygo County. In order to accomplish this task, AWRI student research assistants will canvas the entire county during two summer field sessions to gather site specific data and measurements at each of the road crossings. The information colected will include a detailed structural inventory of each crossing, Global Positioning System (GPS) locations, and digital photographs. This data, when displayed together in a Geographic Information System (GIS) will provide the NCRC with ready access to the condition and disposition of any stream crossing within the county. Questions regarding maintenance scheduling and repair of road crossing structures, as well as analysis of impacts related to new construction and paving projects can be addressed through the information in the inventory. Additionally, the system will give the NCRC the flexibility to dynamically alter the database as new crossings are constructed or changes are made to existing structures anywhere within the county.