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Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Road Commission receive its revenue?
All general money is received through the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF). These funds are generated by the state motor fuel tax and vehicle registration fees. Other sources of funds include Federal, State, and Township contributions which are all project specific and cannot be used for general operating functions. Another source is private contributions such as developments.

When is a Cheboygan County Road Commission permit necessary, and how do I go about applying for one?
A permit is necessary any time a property owner, contractor, municipality, etc. will be performing work within the Cheboygan County Road Commission right of way. For private property owners, the most common types of permits are driveway permits, right of way permits, ditch closure permits, and land divisions. For developers, municipalities, and commercial type entities, there are many other types of permits that are necessary depending on the proposed work.  All permits need to be obtained in person at the Cheboygan County Road Commission or can be downloaded at Permits and Fees and filled out in advance.

What is the Road Commission right of way?
The width of the road right of way can vary a great deal. There are areas in Cheboygan County where the road right of way can be as small as 45 feet or as wide as 200 feet. 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 to the roadway centerline). There are instances where the roadway centerline does not match the section/survey line, and in these cases, the limits of the right of way are not quite as straightforward. If a property owner needs to identify where the limits of the road right of way are or need true locations of their property lines, a professional surveying/engineering company should be hired.

What types of landscaping can be placed within the road right of way?
Ornamental shrubs, flowers, and other vegetative landscaping may be placed within the road right of way provided they do not attain a height greater than three feet and do not interfere with sight distance at intersections. Unfortunately, fences, walls, berms, signs, posts, boulders, and other structural type elements are not permitted to be installed within the road right of way. Please keep in mind that a Cheboygan County Road Commission permit is required for any construction or major landscaping work proposed within the road right of way. Our office is responsible for maintaining a safe and unimpeded road right of way so that the traveling public can be as safe as possible. Please contact the Cheboygan County Road Commission with any specific questions related to the allowance of landscaping elements within the road right of way.

Why can't I place concrete to the edge of the road for my driveway?
The Road Commission trucks, while plowing snow on non-curb and gutter roads, may catch the edge of the concrete with their underbody blade 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.

Why do we need to place weight restrictions and when are they in effect?
Weight restrictions are typically put into effect to protect roadways as winter comes to a close, temperatures begin to rise, and the frost begins to melt beneath the driving surface. This provides an explanation of how potholes form and the need to keep heavy loads off of the roadway during this vulnerable part of the year. The weather (temperature) is the deciding factor as to when weight restrictions are put into place and when they are removed, but generally weight restrictions occur between mid-February and mid-May. The limitations during weight restrictions are explained in the Truck Driver's Guidebook.

Does the Road Commission have Class A, B or Seasonal Roads?
The terminology for road classification has changed over the years with terms such as Class A, Class B, and Seasonal Roads being interpreted in many different ways.  In general, the Cheboygan County Road Commission has two types of roadways: 1) Roadways that are subject to spring load limitations; 2) Roadways that have no seasonal load limitations.   

The majority of the roadways under the jurisdiction of the Cheboygan County Road Commission are subject to spring load limitations which are typically put into place between February and May. 

The Michigan Vehicle Code establishes a set of reduced loadings that are enforceable during this weight restricted period. Additional information can be obtained in the Michigan Vehicle Code (MCL 257.722) or in the Truck Drivers Guidebook. 

The Cheboygan County Road Commission also has an established set of roads that have no seasonal load limitations commonly referred to as "All Seasons" Roads or "Frost Free" Roads.

How do you determine in what order to plow roads?
We plow state highways first, primary roads second, and local roads after that. Due to our limited resources, it can take up to 3 days before we can plow local roads. During snow storms that have heavy accumulations or have accumulations over several days, it could take even longer to clear local roads.

How do I get a gravel road graded?
This is done on a routine basis; however, you can call the Road Commission office at (231) 238-7775.

What do I do if there is dead deer in the roadway?
The Road Commission will move the animal off the traveled portion of the roadway.

Who takes care of the street lights?
Typically Consumers Energy Company takes care of street lights. The general services phone number for the Consumers Energy Company is (800) 477-5050.

Who maintains the State roads, such as I-75, US 23, US 27, M-33, M-68, etc.?
Michigan Department of Transportation has jurisdiction over these roads, but the Road Commission, in conjunction with MDOT, maintains them.

Who is responsible for constructing and maintaining sidewalks?
The Township and/or residents depending on the Township ordinance. Please contact your local township office for more information.

How do I obtain a county map?
We now have a supply of new Cheboygan County maps. They are also available at the Cheboygan County Administrative Office, Chambers of Commerce in Cheboygan and Indian River. The maps are available at our main office in Indian River and upon request.

Who is responsible for placing and maintaining signs in mobile home parks, private businesses, malls, etc.?
Streets and parking areas of this nature do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Road Commission. Generally, signs within these sites are the responsibility of the property owner and/or developer of the site.

Who determines speed limits and how can I get my speed limit changed?
The Traffic Services Section of the Michigan State Police (MSP) is responsible for making joint investigations and recommendations concerning reasonable and safe speed limits. Traffic services personnel located at Michigan State Police district headquarters conduct joint investigations with county road commissions for county roads or the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for state trunkline highways. The attached documents and associated web site provide valuable information related to the speed limit process.

Establishing Realistic Speed Limits
Michigan State Police website

If you are interested in initiating a speed limit change, please start the process at your local Township who would then make a formal written request to the Road Commission.

Engineer/Manager
R. Brent Shank

Office
5302 South Straits Highway
Indian River, MI 49749
(231) 238-7775 or (877) 257-2272
Fax: (231) 238-0830

Hours
Summer
(April - Sept): Mon - Thurs: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm

Winter
(Oct - April): Mon - Fri: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Additional Staff
Clerk
Dana S. Stempky
Engineering Tech
Travis Horrocks
Payroll Clerk
Lois Valley
Purchasing Agent
Joel Grubinski
Shop "B" Foreman
Marty Sarrault
County Foreman - Cheboygan Garage
Shane Redmond
County Foreman - Indian River Garage
Greg Bunker
Crew Leader - Tower Garage
Ted Hand
State B Foreman-Cheboygan
Andy Blaskowski
State B Foreman-Indian River
Mike Laway