DISCLAIMER: Following are basic answers to your questions. Please contact our office for official answers.
Q. What are weight restrictions?
A. Weight restrictions are legal limits placed on the loads trucks may carry. During late winter and early spring, when seasonal thawing occurs, the maximum allowable axle load and speed limit are reduced to prevent costly damage to roads.
Q. What are all-season roads?
A. All-season roads are roadways that are not subject to weight restrictions, which means that trucks can haul regular legal loads on them all year long.
Q. Why are there rules about the types of mailboxes and posts people can have?
A. Regulations regarding mailbox and mailbox support types and locations were instituted because massively designed structures and incorrectly placed boxes and supports contributed to a large number of injuries and deaths in Michigan.
Q Why do you sealcoat roads?
A. Just as your home needs ongoing maintenance to keep it in tiptop shape, so do roads. Several kinds of seal are used, depending on the road type, condition and traffic volume. Sealcoating is a way to improve the road's surface and at the same time, protect our investment in the road.
Q. My neighbors and I think we should have a traffic light at our corner. There have been a lot of accidents here. If I get enough signatures, can we have one?
A. We follow the State of Michigan process for traffic signals. Michigan has developed a set of 11 guidelines, called warrants, to determine whether a traffic signal is needed. The most closely reviewed warrants include three questions. Is sufficient traffic coming from the side road to require a signal? Is the main road's traffic flow so constant that side-road traffic cannot enter or cross the main road? What is the accident history at this location? Requests for traffic signals are reviewed, with the decision based on State guidelines. Petitions are not a basis for the installation of a new traffic signal, however, they are helpful in bringing an intersection to our attention.
Q. I'm fixing up my property. I want to plant some trees along the road. Is that ok?
A. Trees do add beauty, color and character to our roadsides, but if they're too close to the road edge, they can be both hazardous and a potential liability for property owners, utilities and the Road Commission. Therefore, we do not allow tree planting within the road right-of-way.
Q. How close to the road can I plant my shrubs or trees? How close to the road can I install a fence or put up a building?
A. Normally the distance is thirty-three feet from the center of the road, however there are exceptions depending which road you reside on. Please call our office for more specific information. You should also check with your township office for local zoning requirements.
Q. It snowed last night. When will my road be plowed?
A. Snow removal is done on a priority system. State Highways have the highest priority, then primary roads followed by local roads, which many people refer to as "side streets." We strive to have all roads plowed, at least with a single pass, on the first day. This is not always possible due to unforeseen circumstances, such as equipment breakdowns.
Q. A county truck threw a stone into my windshield. Is the Road Commission going to pay for it?
A. Contact your insurance company to see if you have applicable coverage before contacting our office.
Q. I live on a gravel road, and I can't leave my windows open because of the dust. What are you going to do about it?
A. The Road Commission allocates monies to townships to pay for the application of calcium chloride on local roads within their township. The majority of the townships desire two applications of chloride each summer. The Road Commission hires a contractor to apply the chloride on county roads. As the contractor also applies chloride for other counties, we are obligated to work within his schedule.
Q. The gravel road I live on is full of holes. When are you going to grade it?
A. In the spring, we go over the roads after the frost has left the ground. In the summer, we try to grade roads prior to having chloride applied. Sometimes we find it necessary to grade gravel roads after chloride has been applied, and will do so after a rain and the road has softened up. In the winter, there is not much we can do until the frost is out of the ground.
Q. How do I get a culvert for a driveway?
A. The Road Commission is not a supplier of driveway culverts. As a property owner you must obtain your driveway culvert from a local vendor. The only instances where we install driveway culverts is when we are doing a major ditching or construction project on your road.
Q. Where does the Road Commission get its operating funds?
A. The Road Commission's main source of funding is the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF) which is comprised of gas & weight taxes and driver's license fees. It is distributed by the State through a formula. In addition, the townships contribute money to the local road system for local road improvements. The Road Commission does not have a county-wide millage for roads.