Road Law Resources

Because transportation infrastructure is so important to Michigan, there are many state and federal laws and guidelines that impact roads, road funding, environmental protection, road commissions and other aspects of local roads. The following information is reference material on some of these topics. In no way should it be seen as legal advice.

State Constitution

• Intergovernmental agreements; service by public officers and employees. Article III, Section 5

• Highways, bridges, culverts, airports; road tax limitation. Article VII, Section 16

• Governmental functions and powers; joint administration, costs and credits, transfers. Article VII, Section 28

• Highways, streets, alleys, public places; control, use by public utilities. Article VII, Section 29

• Use of specific taxes on fuels for transportation purposes; authorization of indebtedness and issuance of obligations. Article IX, Section 9

County Road Law and Road Commissions

• Composition/Authority of Road Commissions. Board of county road commissioners; election or appointment; notice of election; date; term of office; removal from office; notice of charges; county with population of 1,500,000 or more; powers and duties; reorganization; expenditure of funds; alteration of number of county road commissions. MCL 224.6

• Status as a public body MCL 224.9

• Authority to employ and purchase MCL 224.10

• General road commission duties and powers MCL 224.19

County Road Commissioners

• Road Commissioner Compensation/Benefits MCL 224.8

• “County Road Commission is not responsible to board of county supervisors, nor has board any authority or control over commission, except as to appointment, removal, and audit of accounts as provided by statute.”(Attorney General Opinion 2945, May 1957)

• “In the event that a county board of commissioners changes the method of selection of county road commissions from appointment to election as authorized by law, each county road commissioner in such county may continue to serve for the balance of his or her unexpired term.” (Attorney General Opinion 6322, November 1985)

• “The chairperson of a county board has no authority to determine or change the compensation to be paid county road commissioners.” ( Attorney General Opinion 6265, December 1984)

 County Road Commission Jurisdiction

• Authority to construct or improve roads MCL 224.11

• Duty to repair roads MCL 224.21 See also Governmental Immunity Statute

• Abandonment/discontinuance of roads MCL 224.18

• Transfer of Jurisdiction Over Highways MCL 247.851 – .861

Right-of-Way Encroachments/Obstructions

• Highway by User MCL 221.20

• Obstructions MCL 230.4

• Obstructions & Encroachments MCL 247.171 – .191

• The grantor of the easement may display a ‘For Sale’ sign within the right-of-way on the property that is for sale as long as the sign does not obstruct the right-of-way so as to either interfere with the highway purposes easement granted to the State or cause safety problems for the traveling public. ( AG Opinion 5746, July 1980)

• Trees and Shrubs MCL 247.241 – .242

• Bus Passenger Shelters MCL 247.331 – .336

Road Closures/Connections

• Temporary Highways MCL 247.221

• Closing Roads Under Reconstruction/Repair MCL 247.291 – .293

• Driveway Permits MCL 247.321

Federal Aid System

• Federal Aid Information

• National Functional Classification

Private Roads

• Emergency Assistance – “A county road commission is authorized to use its resources to provide emergency assistance to township ambulance personnel on private roads.” ( Attorney General Opinion 6975, March 1998)

Special Road Designations

• Natural Beauty Roads MCL 324.35701- 324.35706

• Seasonal Roads MCL 247.655a

• Michigan Memorial Highways Act 142 of 2001

• Heritage Routes Act 69 of 1993