Rapid River Restoration Project
Kalkaska County, MI

Grantee: Kalkaska Conservation District
Basin Program Funds: $15,000
Non-federal Funds: $24,280
Project Duration: 11/1997 - 06/1998
Status: complete

Problem Statement
Two road/stream crossings have been identified as delivering excessive amounts of sediment to the Rapid River, part of the Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed. The two sites are steep, unpaved roads whose construction, in combination with poorly located river crossings, causes excessive erosion.

The Elk River Chain of Lakes Steering Committee is a strong partnership of local citizens and agencies committed to the stewardship of Elk River watershed natural resources. Their paramount goal is to protect and improve the watershed's water resources and, under the Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed Management Plan, have identified priority road/stream crossings to be improved. The Kalkaska Conservation District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service identified 6 road/stream crossings delivering excessive amounts of sediment to the Rapid River. The 2 most severely eroded sites were targeted for remedial action. These were Day Road where an estimated 100 cubic yards of sediment erodes down a 700 foot hill into the Rapid River annually; and Wood Road from which almost 80 cubic yards annually erodes.

In cooperation with the Kalkaska County Road Commission, which supplied the equipment and labor required for the project, the Kalkaska Conservation District used Basin Program funds to purchase materials and obtain the required permits. Conservation District representatives also worked with the Road Commission and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to complete design drawings. The on-site work included paving the hills, curbs and gutters, at both sites in a relatively new technique of berming the road edges with pavement which directs he water off the road into settling basins. At the Wood Road site they also utilized a poured-in-place culvert.

As part of the project, the Kalkaska Conservation District hosted a tour to demonstrate the techniques used in the Wood and Day Road remediation. Fourteen people attended the tour.

The project remediated both road sites and saved 81 tons of soil. Fourteen persons representing several country road commissions, other river restoration projects, soil and water conservation districts and state observers attended the tour of the completed sites.

Contact: Ursula Gilmour, (616) 258-3307


Great Lakes Commission des Grands Lacs.  2805 S. Industrial Highway, Suite 100.  Ann Arbor, MI  48104-6791.  phone: 734/971.9135.  fax: 734/971-9150.  projects.glc.org. Join the Friends of the Great Lakes GLIN Partner