Facts About Michigan County Road
County Road Commissions were organized
by Act 283 by the Michigan Legislature
in 1909 to achieve two primary goals: To
provide uniformity in road construction
and maintenance across the state; and to
provide cost efficient and high quality
road services for local roads.
There are 78 county road commissions in
Michigan. County road commissions are
not part of general county government,
except Wayne, Macomb, Jackson, Ingham
and Calhoun counties, which have a
public works department instead of a
road commission. They are legally
separate entities, receiving nearly all
of their operating funds directly from
Every county road commission has a
three-member board that is either
appointed by the county board of
commissioners or elected by the voters.
The county board of commissioners
decides how the road commission board
members are chosen, depending on what
method is deemed to be in the best
interest of the county.
The road commissioners serve staggered
six-year terms so that every two years,
one commissioner’s term expires.
Road commissions hold regular board
meetings at least once a month. The
public is invited and encouraged to
attend these meetings. In addition,
frequent public hearings are scheduled
to communicate with county residents on
a variety of road and safety issues.
Road commissions employ nearly 7,000
regular and temporary workers across the
state. County road commissions have a
strong commitment to employing
professionals with the highest
qualifications in their industry.
County road commissions have a variety
of responsibilities including, but not
always limited to, maintaining almost
90,000 miles of roads, 365 days a year.
Some of the many county road commission
duties include the following:
Ensuring steady and safe traffic
Gravel road upkeep
Road and bridge construction, repair
Snow removal, salting and sanding
Surface treatments and chip/crack
Street painting and marking
Maintaining road signage
Controlling roadside vegetation,
mowing and brush cutting
Roadside ditch and drain
State Law - Public Act 51 - specifically
states that cities, villages, county
road commissions and the Michigan
Department of Transportation have
jurisdiction over roads. That means
those government agencies are
responsible for building and maintaining
the roads within their jurisdictions.
They also carry the legal liability for
those roads. Road commissions also work
hard to maintain roads within their
jurisdiction- and although drivers don’t
always know who is responsible for the
roads they drive on, they can be assured
that county road commissions are taking
the best care of the roads.
Townships do not have jurisdiction over
roads and do not receive any funding
directly from the state. Instead, county
road commissions maintain roads in
townships with road commission funds.
This ensures that all roads are
maintained efficiently and without
financial burden to the township and
ensures uniform service throughout the
county. Some road improvements in
township - bridge replacement, road
widening, etc. - are federally funded.
Townships often help provide a matching
of funds for local road projects.
County road commissions regularly meet
with the townships in their counties to
help determine maintenance and
construction priorities. Construction
and maintenance projects are planned and
coordinated with active input from
township officials and residents.
The Michigan Department of
Transportation (MDOT) contracts with
approximately 65 county road commissions
across the state to maintain 6,500 miles
of state roads. Although county road
commissions do the work, they operate
under the specifications of MDOT.
For more details about Michigan’s county
road commission, see