FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How do I get my road paved?
Primary Roads are selected for paving based on a pavement inventory rating system which takes into consideration the physical condition of the road, the average daily traffic, and the physical ride quality of the pavement. Typically, the Federal/State funds provided for Primary Road improvement/construction projects include stipulations and eligibility requirements that limit the use of the funds to certain roads.
Local Roads are typically selected by the townships based on the concerns of the public and the amount of money they have available to cost share with the Road Commission. The level of funding provided to the Road Commission by law is not sufficient to pay for the initial paving of the road. Although township government has no responsibility for road maintenance or improvement, and does not receive any Michigan Transportation Funds, they have been very supportive of county roads over the years and you may wish to contact them to see if they have any plans to improve your road in the future.
Your road also may meet the requirements for the establishment of a special assessment district whereby all properties accessing the road would share in the expense of the the road improvement. Contact your township officials or the Alpena County Road Commission regarding the process for setting up a special assessment district for road improvements.
2. What is the Road Commission Right-of-Way?
The width of the road right-of-way can vary a great deal. In general, the Road Commission right-of-way is typically 66 feet wide, approximately 33 feet on both sides of the section/survey line (which typically corresponds with the roadway centerline). If a property owner needs to identify where the limits of the road right-of-way are or needs true locations of their property lines, a professional surveying/engineering company should be hired.
3.Why did you cut down the trees on my road?
Trees and brush along the sides of a road offer hazards to drivers. In many areas tree and brush removal is necessary to restore safe sight distance for motorists along the road and to help prevent vehicle collisions. These roadside hazards can also hide deer, creating another danger for drivers, especially at night when deer are not easily visible. In some areas trees and brush have to be cut in order to obtain the width needed for gravel surfacing. We may also remove dead trees wherever possible to prevent them from falling into the road.
4.Where can I access information on current road conditions?
You can call the Michigan State Police Travel Hotline at 1-800-381-8477 or visit their Road Conditions Web Site for current road conditions in Michigan.
5.There is a dead deer on the side of the road...
The Alpena County Road Commission will only move deer carcasses in the county right-of-way that present a driving hazard.
6.How can I get a "Children At Play" sign installed on my street?
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 in 1983, these signs were acceptable for use on county roads. Studies done nationally leading up to that revision demonstrated that, while these signs may make parents and children feel safer, they have no effect on driver behavior and do not slow traffic speeds as might be expected. Further, these signs can actually reduce safety to the extent that the signs might make parents or children think they are safer when the danger is still present. The best policy is still to be sure to keep children as far away from the road as possible and not to allow children to play in or near the road.
7.How do you determine what order to plow the roads?
Road commissions organize snow plowing operations to service the most heavily traveled roadways first during and after a winter storm. Our first responsibility is to clear Primary roads and State trunk lines. Typically, local roads and streets are among the last to be cleared. Extended winter storms or continuing high winds may require crews to continually plow the main high traffic roads and prevent them from reach subdivision streets or rural gravel roads for several days.
8.Your plow truck knocked down my mailbox...
Since mailboxes are in the road right-of-way, they are sometimes knocked down by road commission trucks when plowing snow or performing other road maintenance. More often than not, damage to mailboxes is caused by snow or ice pushing against weakened posts or hardware. ACRC policy states that the road commission will repair or replace a mailbox damaged by direct contact by road commission equipment. The ACRC will not assume responsibility for mailbox damage that may be caused by snow/ice that is being plowed from the roadway. The Road Commission recommends the installation of a snowboard to protect your mailbox from flying snow and/or ice.
9.How do I get the speed limit lowered on our road?
When a request is received to lower the speed limit on a county road, the township, the Road Commission and the Michigan State Police 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.