Q: Where does the Road Commission get its operating funds?
A: The Road Commission's main source of funding is comprised of gas and weight taxes and driver's license fees and is distributed by the state through a formula, also known as ACT 51. The Road Commission does not receive property taxes.
Q: Why do you spread tar and stone on roads that are already paved?
A: The process you are referring to is called sealcoating or chip sealing. Most road agencies in Michigan use this process as a relatively low cost method of preserving existing pavement. The tar is an emulsion of water and liquid asphalt that penetrates and seals the smaller cracks in the existing pavement. Sealing these cracks on a regular basis prevents water from seeping into and softening the base of the road over time, which would cause potholes to form. The crushed stone that is used for cover material sticks to the emulsion and, after rolling and sweeping, provides a slightly roughened skid resistant surface which improves safety. Although sealcoating can preserve and extend the life of the pavement, it is only a surface treatment and does not fill any existing bumps, holes, or other irregularities and thus does not improve the ride quality. For this reason it is important to apply sealcoat to a road BEFORE deterioration occurs, which means we sealcoat roads that ARE in good condition rather than waiting for them to deteriorate to the point that extensive patching or reconstruction is necessary.
Q: Why is my road not plowed right away when it snows?
A: Our first responsibility is to clear the most heavily traveled main roads that includes state highways and primary roads in Monroe County. Typically, local roads and streets are among the last to be cleared because they are not as heavily traveled.
Q: Your truck knocked down my mailbox - when are you going to fix it?
A: 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 or repair it. The Monroe County Road Commission's policy when it is warranted to replace a mailbox is to issue a generic type of box and or post. Please call our office for more information.
Q: Why are there rules about the types of mailboxes and posts people can have?
A: Regulations about 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: My vehicle was damaged due to the condition of a road - is the Road Commission going to pay for it?
A: Contact your insurance company first, to see if you have applicable coverage before contacting our office. The Law is such that the Monroe County Road Commission can not pay for personal damage out of public funds. Our insurance carrier determines when claims are paid.
Q: Where can I get information on current Travel information in Michigan?A: You can visit the AAA website by clicking here for current Travel information in Michigan. Please do not call your local police agency for road conditions during a storm.
Q: Why are some roads numbered differently than others?
A: "US" highways (i.e. US-23) extend to two or more states, "M" highways (i.e. M-50, M-125) begin and end within Michigan, and "I" highways (i.e. I-75) are part of the Interstate Highway System.
Q: Is the Monroe County Road Commission responsible for state highways?
A: The Michigan Department of Transportation is responsible for routine maintenance on all state highways. MDOT contracts with the Monroe County Road Commission to maintain the state highways located in Monroe County. The services we provide include snowplowing, pothole filling, grass cutting, sweeping, guardrail repair and other services.
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 is reduced to prevent weather-related breakup of roads.
Q: People are speeding on our road. How do I get the speed limit lowered?
A: Any decision regarding speed limits must be based on facts and an objective analysis of the characteristics of the roadway. When a request is received to lower the speed limit on a county road, the Road Commission, the Michigan State Police, and a township Representative work together to conduct studies such as speed studies, accident analyses, and driving environment surveys. Recommendation is made based on an 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.
Q: My neighbors and I think we should have a traffic light at our corner. If I get enough signatures, can we have one?
A: Michigan has developed a set of 11 guidelines, called warrants, to determine whether a traffic signal is needed. The most closely reviewed warrants are based on 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? Have a significant number of accidents occurred at this intersection? Requests for traffic signals are reviewed, with the decision based on the warrants. 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 want to plant some trees along the road. Is that OK?
A: Trees do add beauty, color and character to our roadsides, The Monroe County Road Commission request that no trees be planted in the road right of way, they can be both hazardous and a potential liability for property owners, utilities and the Road Commission.
Q: Do I need to get a permit to put in a new driveway?
A: yes; however it is always advisable to contact your township zoning board. Anytime a person or business does any construction work in the road right-of-way they must obtain a permit.
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 townships pay for the application of chloride on local roads in their township, and each township contracts with the Road Commission to take care of this. The townships in Monroe County contract for only one or two applications spread out over the summer.
Q: The gravel road I live on is full of holes - when are you going to grade it?
A: In the summer, roads are always graded prior to having chloride applied. If your road needs graded, please call our office or complete the web enabled service request form. In addition, we try to blade gravel roads after it rains and the road has softened up. In the winter, there is not much we can do until the frost is out of the roads.
Q: What causes potholes?
A: Potholes occur as the result of melting ice and snow. The melting water drains under the pavement through cracks caused by traffic. 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 the temperatures rise above freezing, a shallow divot occurs under the road and the pavement breaks. A pothole is formed as a result.