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The Why of Gravel Road Maintenance

As an organic material, gravel roads see a loss of material and aggregate due to natural breakdown, vehicle traffic, and weather each year. The loss of dust and aggregate results in ruts, potholes, and washboarding that requires costly spot repairs and frequent maintenance to keep the road in acceptable condition. VBCRC utilizes regular gravel road maintenance such as adding gravel, dust control, and regular grading to maintain the integrity of the road.

Dust Control

Gravel roads break down into dust, when the fine material (dust) is lost, the load-bearing aggregate will soon follow. Additionally, dust can carry several hundred feet into nearby homes, cover nearby crops, and cause human allergies. The Van Buren County Road Commission and Townships work together to stabilize county gravel roads through the application of liquid dust control during the spring/summer months. Dust control is scheduled based on the availability of the contractor and the amount of applications each Township will be receiving. For more specific information, please contact the Road Commission at 269-674-8011 ext. 0 or online at

Bagged Chloride

Township Residents may contact their Township Offices directly to request bagged chloride. If the Township authorizes (through a signed receipt given to the resident), the resident should bring the receipt to the Road Commission's Administrative Offices, 325 W. James Street, Lawrence during hours of operation to pick up the bagged chloride which is then spread by hand or machine to control dust. Residents typically receive two (2) bags for use in small areas, such as directly in front of the residence. 

Grading Gravel Roads

VBCRC aims to grade and reshape all gravel roads in the Spring following the removal of Frost Laws, in the Fall/Early Winter prior to the ground freezing, and prior to each dust control application. Additional grading may be completed, depending on crew availability and weather. Residents may request an evaluation for additional grading by reporting the location to VBCRC at 269-674-8011 ext. 0 or online at

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