We all pay property tax, why is that not enough to cover fixing the roads?
By law, Act 51 of the Public Acts of 1951; road commissions are only allowed to pay 50% for reconstruction/resurfacing of a local road – the other 50% is usually contributed by townships or adjoining property owners.
How much money is provided to the 18 townships for cost sharing by the Road Commission?
How is the money distributed to the 18 townships in Lapeer County?
How do I get my road paved?
Primary Roads- selected on a pavement inventory rating which takes into consideration the physical condition of the road, the average daily traffic and the physical ride ability of the pavement.
Local Roads- selected by the townships based on the concern of the public and the amount of money that they have available to cost share with the Road Commission.
If the Township does not have any money to pave my roads, are there any other options?
Normally Federal and State money is available for use on the primary road system. As for the local road system, the townships have the ability to assess the property owner for the cost of construction if the homeowners petition them.
How do I initiate a road project?
Residents may petition the Road Commission for an improvement by special assessment, with 51% of the property owners signing the petition. Otherwise, Lapeer County Road Commission projects must be requested by the townships. Contact your local township.
How do I get a driveway permit?
Download a copy from the “Permits” page of our web site or call us at (810) 664-6272.
What are weight restrictions?
Weight restrictions are legal limits placed on the loads trucks may carry. During late winter and early spring, when seasonal thawing occurs and leaves the sub-base of the road in a soft condition, the maximum allowable axle load and speed is reduced to prevent weather-related breakup of roads.
When do weight restriction go into effect and when are they lifted?
Normally Mid February to May depending on the weather. Generally speaking, it is the time period when the frost is coming out of the ground. You can also visit CRAM’s web site for an up to date list of frost laws in effect.
What are All-Season Roads?
All season roadways are exempt from seasonal weight restrictions, meaning that trucks can haul regularly on them all year long.
Why does it take so long to get my road plowed?
The removal of snow is performed on a priority basis. State Trunk lines are plowed first, followed by the County Primary roads and Local roads. During the winter months the Road Commission has a second shift patrol, to ensure road conditions are monitored and crews are dispatched as needed. The safety officers of Lapeer County and the Road Commission work closely together year-round to make sure road conditions are safe for area motorists.
The Lapeer County Road Commission does not have a bare road policy. We maintain over 1,400 miles of county roads. Our goal is designed to provide the best service possible for all of the traveling public in Lapeer County. We encourage you to drive defensively and at a speed according to the road conditions. Even with the best service, driving conditions may still be hazardous in the winter months.
What should be kept in mind when shoveling/plowing driveways?
Homeowners should be aware that shoveling or plowing snow from driveways onto or across roads is illegal (Act 82 of 1978, vehicle code 257.677a) because it can present a serious traffic hazard to motorist. Instead, pile snow behind the curb or shoulder on your side of the road.
Be sure to place snow to the right as you face the road, so plows will push it away from, rather than back into the driveway entrance. It is also important to avoid vision obstructions. Care should be taken not to impede the flow of storm water from melting snow in the ditches or culverts. Citizens should also make certain that their trash containers are not placed too close to the edge of the road before snow removal has taken place.
Your truck knocked down my mailbox. When are you going to fix it?
Mailboxes are sometimes knocked down by road commission trucks when plowing snow. The Road Commission’s policy is to replace mailboxes that have actually been hit by the snowplow; however, if the mailbox or wooden post was broken off from the force of the snow coming off the plow blade, we do not replace it. Replacement consists of a metal mailbox and a metal signpost. Please file a service request with our office and we will check into the problem.
What type of mailbox am I allowed to install?
- Mailboxes shall be constructed of light sheet metal, plastic or similar weight materials conforming to the requirements of the U.S. Postal Service. Newspaper boxes shall be constructed of light sheet metal or plastic and shall be placed on the same side of the road as the mailbox. Newspaper boxes may also be mounted below the mailbox on the side of the mailbox support.
- No more than two mailboxes may be mounted on a support structure.
- A single 4×4 inch square, 4-inch diameter wooden post or a metal post with strength no greater than a 2-inch diameter standard strength steel pipe shall be acceptable as a mailbox support. The mailbox support shall not be embedded more than 24 inches into the ground. A metal post shall not be fitted with an anchor plate, but it may have an anti-twist device that extends no more than 10 inches below the ground surface.
- Mailbox supports shall not be set in concrete.
- The post-to-box attachment details should be sufficient strength to prevent the box from separating from the post top if a vehicle strikes the installation.
What do I do if I have a dead deer or small animal in my ditch or on the road?
The Road Commission will move the animal off the traveled portion of the roadway; however, we are not responsible for picking up animals and disposing of them.
What happens if my vehicle is damaged by flying debris from a Road Commission truck or Road Commission project done by contractors?
Please contact the Road Commission and an Incident Report will be forwarded to you. It will then be turned over to the Road Commission Insurance Company, and you will receive a response in writing.
What is the Road Commission Right-of-Way?
Generally it is 33 feet from the section line of the road in both directions. Usually the section line and the centerline are relatively close.
Can I put rocks across my lawn to keep cars off my grass?
Sometimes residents place rocks along the roadway in front of their homes to keep vehicles off their lawns. This is done primarily on residential streets that don’t have curbs.
These rocks can be a real safety hazards. If a vehicle leaves the roadway, rocks won’t stop these out-of-control vehicles, just damage them and possibly injure the occupants. A rock could be hit by a vehicle sending it flying and possibly injuring residents. Pedestrians, including children, can trip on rocks and possibly fall into the street.
The area where the rocks are placed is usually not private property; it is within the public right of way. The property line is usually between 17 and 20 feet from the roadway.
Generally, a permit is required to install anything within the public right of way. The agency that has jurisdiction over the road (city, road commission or state) is obligated to maintain safe public roads, including the right of way outside the paved portion. The road agency can seek legal relief for damages from persons responsible for hazards placed within the right of way.
Vehicles tear up the lawn, but rocks are hazards, and life has a greater value than grass and landscape. A roadside clear of obstructions and hazards allows drivers to regain control of their vehicles.
Can I fill in the ditch and plant a tree in front of my property?
If there is a ditch along the road in front of your property, you should not fill it in even if it doesn’t drain water along the road. The purpose of roadside ditches is to prevent water from pooling on the roadway during or after a storm, to provide an area for snow plowing operations, and to lower the water table beneath the roadbed. Filling in even a fairly shallow roadside ditch can cause serious damage to the road and pavement from frost heave and, the lack of positive drainage. Please do not plant any trees or shrubs that may become a vision obstruction or that may grow into a large fixed object that presents danger to motorists anywhere inside the road right of way. Trees and ornamental plantings should be set back at least 33 feet from the center of the road, which in most cases will place them outside of the road right of way and protect them from traffic damage.
Why can’t I place concrete to the edge of the road for my driveway?
For a paved road, this is allowed. For a gravel road, you must keep it back a minimum of five feet from the edge of the traveled way. The Road Commission trucks, while plowing snow on a gravel road, may catch the edge of the concrete with their underbody snow blade. This can cause injury to the driver and damage to the truck.
Why can't I place a brick structure around my mailbox?
This places a hazard for not only the Road Commission trucks, but also for all of the traveling public, should they veer off the road.
Who initiates addresses for new homes?
Check with Township.
Who maintains the railroad crossings?
The appropriate railroad company. Usually there is a small metal placket located on the crossbuck (railroad crossing) sign adjacent to the track with this information.
Who is responsible for constructing and maintaining sidewalks?
The Township and/or residents depending on the Township ordinance.
How do I obtain a county map?
Lapeer County Road Commission administrative office- $1.00 each; or, by mail is $1.00 each plus postage. Please call for current postage rates at our office, (810) 664-6272
How can I get a “Children At Play” sign put up to protect my children?
The Road Commission no longer places or maintains “Children At Play” signs although there are still several of these signs scattered throughout our road system.
Prior to the revision of the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MMUTCD) in 1983, these signs were acceptable for use on county roads. Studies done nationally leading up to that revision demonstrated conclusively that, while these signs may make parents and children feel safer, they have absolutely no effect on driver behavior and do not slow traffic speeds as might be expected. To the extent that the signs might make parents or children think they are safer when the danger is still present, these signs can actually reduce safety. The best policy is to be sure to keep children as far away from the road as possible and don’t allow even older children to play in or near the road.
The road commission will issue a permit to a resident to install their own “deaf child” or “blind child” sign near their home. There is no charge for the permit, but the resident must agree to accept responsibility to maintain the sign in a safe manner.
Who is responsible for placing and maintaining signs in mobile home parks, private businesses, malls, etc.?
The developer or landowner must place them as the Road Commission has no jurisdiction over these types of locations.
People are speeding on our road. How do I get the speed limit lowered?
Any decision regarding speed limits must be based on facts and an objective analysis of the characteristics on the roadway. When a request is received to lower the speed limit on a county road, the Road Commission, the Township and the Michigan State Police work together to conduct studies such as speed studies, accident analysis’, and driving environment surveys. Recommendation is made based on objective analysis of all the data collected. If a change in speed limit is in order, a Traffic Control Order is submitted to the Director of the Michigan State Police for approval.
What is the speed limit on my road if it is not posted?
The Michigan Vehicle Code is the law that states how speed limits are determined. If the speed limit is not posted, then the maximum speed limit is 55 mph by statute.
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?
The Lapeer County Road Commission follows 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 of the 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? Have a significant number of right-angle accidents occurred at this intersection? Requests for traffic signals are reviewed, with the decision based on the state guidelines. Petitions are not a basis for installation of a new traffic signal; however, they are helpful in bringing the conditions at an intersection to our attention.
What can I do about big trucks and gravel trains running on my road?
Trucks have the right to use the road. The road was constructed with public funds and we cannot preclude the public from using it. The Road Commission cannot force the trucking firm to enter into a haul route agreement. The Road Commission can make a determination of the structural capacity of the road and can post weight limits if the pavement cannot handle the loads from the trucks.
What causes potholes in pavements during the spring?
Potholes occur as the result of melting snow and ice. The melting water drains through the cracks in the pavement that are created by traffic and ground movement from the frost. As the temperatures begin freezing at night, the water becomes ice and expands under the pavement, forcing the pavement to lift. As traffic continues to drive over this section of road and as temperatures rise above freezing, a shallow divot occurs under the road and pavement breaks. A pothole is formed as a result.
The gravel road that I live on is full of holes – when are you going to grade it?
Roads are graded at least seven times per season. In the spring, we grade the roads after the frost has left the ground. In the summer, on a rotational basis by Township, we also grade before dust control applications. Once the dust control application is applied, we try to limit our grading to prolong the life of the dust control product. Sometimes we find it necessary to grade roads after the dust control application is applied. We try to grade after a rain and the road has softened. The moisture will allow the gravel to pack down, limiting the amount of dust generated. In the winter, there is not much we can do when the roads are frozen. Winter grading is limited to the occasional winter thaws and must be scheduled based on weather conditions.
Removing berms along the sides of the roads, improving drainage and crowning the gravel roads are all part of our maintenance program to provide quality road conditions on our gravel roads.
How can I get a dust control application on my road?
We contract with each township on dust control applications each year. Each township determines the amount of dust control applications, typically 2-4 per year.
Why are you cutting down all the trees on my road?
The Road Commission has an ongoing program to re-grade and re-gravel rural roads throughout Lapeer County. The roadsides on many of the roads have become overgrown with brush and trees over the years to the point that fairly extensive trimming and cutting is necessary to restore safe sight distance for motorist and to help prevent vehicle collisions.
How do I get my gravel road graded?
This is done on a routine basis; however, you can call the Road Commission office at (810) 664-6272 regarding this matter.
How do I get my road regraveled or brined?
Please call your Township.
How do I make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request?
As a government agency, the Lapeer County Road Commission is required to comply with the Public Act 442 of 1976, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
If you are interested in obtaining documents that fall within the requirements of the FOIA, you may submit a FOIA request in writing to the Lapeer County Road Commission, Lapeer, MI 48446, Attention: FOIA Coordinator. FOIA Forms can be found under Forms and Permits,Freedom of Information Form
Please be advised that upon receipt of a FOIA request, the Road Commission has five business days in which to respond (six business days if received via fax or email), in accordance with the Act, and the requesting party will be charged for research time and copies of any documents requested. If an extension of time is necessary in order to fulfill a FOIA request, the Road Commission will notify the requesting party in writing, at which time an additional ten business days will be permitted at the agency, in accordance with the Act.