Our Legislative Priorities

Members of the County Road Association use a longstanding grassroots process to identify legislative areas of concern. The following priorities reflect the needs and concerns of county road agencies across Michigan.


Federal Road Funding

  • Alternate or Emergency Routes

CRA supports efforts to seek additional federal funds outside of the Act 51-mandated 25% for local jurisdictions, for use by eligible county road agencies that have state-designated alternate or emergency routes to the state trunkline system or the national highway system as these roads must be maintained at a higher standard.

  • Federal Aid Buy-out Program

CRA supports legislation to require the MDOT to buy out local federal aid at the exchange rate of $1 : $1. CRA also supports increasing the minimum total buy-out amount to not less than $65 million (M) annually.

  • Local Agency Bridge Program

CRA supports investment of additional portions of Michigan’s federal bridge dollars in the local agency bridge program, including amending Act 51 to deposit at least 25% of all federal bridge funds into the Local Agency Bridge Program Fund for county, city and village bridges.

  • Local Match

Even with the recent Infrastructure & Investment Jobs Act (IIJA), Congress is not able to meet its obligations to the Highway Trust Fund and they continue to require a local match for IIJA programs. Congress needs to find a long-term solution to ensure the Fund remains solvent. CRA supports legislation to develop and implement a more stable, long-term Federal Highway Trust Fund solution and reduce or eliminate the requirement for a local match of federal funds.

  • Revenue Aligned Budget Authority

CRA opposes any proposal to use additional unanticipated revenues from the Highway Trust Fund outside the IIJA formula.

State Road Funding

  • Alternative Future Road Funding

CRA supports a study of alternatives to fuel taxes, road funding and legislation that collects revenue in an equitable manner across all road user groups.

  • Asset Management Database Support

CRA encourages immediate development of a complete statewide data set on the condition of all 90,500 miles of paved and unpaved/federal and nonfederal aid-eligible roads, all 5,900+ county bridges and other county road infrastructure. CRA supports additional state revenue directly to the Transportation Asset Management Council to complete its inventory and condition assessment of Michigan’s county road infrastructure assets.

  • Distribution Formula

CRA believes the documented imbalance between straight mile road conditions on the state system (good-fair) and the local system (poor-fair) is a direct result of the historic disproportionate distribution of funding. Several nontraditional funding sources for state roads have essentially changed the funding distribution without changing the MTF Act formula. Relying on the 2023 County Road Investment Plan, CRA supports adjusting the MTF Act, rather than rewriting it, to better address the conditions of the entire statewide system. CRA also supports having the state’s debt service for roads come from the benefitting road partner (MDOT/counties/municipalities) rather than off-the-top of MTF, which is not fair.

  • Electric Vehicle (EV) MTF Replacement Revenue

The rapid expansion of EVs is already eroding Michigan’s pay-as-you-go “user fee” (state fuel taxes/vehicle registration fees) structure and will soon make it even more challenging to maintain and improve state and local transportation infrastructure. CRA supports urging the Legislature to test and/or implement an alternative fiscal structure to make up for revenue lost in the EV/hybrid conversion.

  • Forming a Michigan Local Roads Research Program

CRA promotes innovation in materials and operations in county road projects, yet the state has no funds set aside for the scientific evaluation of new materials, methods or procedures for Michigan local road agencies. MDOT does have such a program for state trunklines. CRA supports creation and funding of a Michigan Local Roads Research Program supported by the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF) in the amount of $800,000 annually. The Program would have a board of local agencies to solicit, evaluate and award innovative proposals from counties and municipalities.

  • Legislatively-Appropriated Road Funds

Recognizing the Michigan Legislature increased the vehicle registration fees and gas tax rate to 26 cents beginning January 1, 2017, half of the $1.2 billion described in the 2015 transportation package will come from income tax revenue to be appropriated annually by the Legislature and deposited into the MTF for the three road groups. The ability of Michigan’s county road agencies to increase road repairs, maintenance and construction is at risk if these dollars are not appropriated in any given year. CRA supports legislation to convert this legislatively-appropriated road revenue to a long-term restricted or Constitutional revenue source.

  • Local Bridge Funding Increase

Michigan’s 5,900 county-maintained bridges are woefully underfunded. In the FY 2026 call for projects, Michigan’s Local Bridge Advisory Program received 382 applications requesting $470 M against a projected FY 2026 budget of $122 M. CRA supports a legislative approach to secure significantly more funds before the local bridge system experiences a catastrophic failure.

  • Nonmotorized Requirement (1%)

With limited MTF dollars for roads, the 1% set-aside for nonmotorized transportation required by Act 51 is not the best use of this resource. While CRA supports the expenditure on nonmotorized transportation, CRA believes the Legislature should allow the 1% for nonmotorized work to be met with sources other than MTF dollars – potentially reserving MTF for roads.

  • Road Funding – Agriculture, Silviculture Vehicle Registration Increase

In recent years, the agriculture and silviculture industries, their vehicles and equipment have become heavier, longer and wider, putting further demands on a vulnerable rural road and culvert system. CRA supports additional road funds from vehicles utilized by the agriculture and silviculture industries to restore, preserve and possibly improve roads used by these valuable Michigan industries.

  • Streamlining Regulatory Reviews for Local Road Agencies

Many local agency road projects have minimal impacts on the environment, natural and cultural resources yet are required to secure the same clearances as major transportation projects. Locals and the state and federal government have developed exemption lists for most permitted-resources. MDOT’s new NEPA screening tool (2019) has effectively eliminated these exemptions. CRA supports legislation to streamline regulatory review requirements to again provide exemptions to projects with these minimal impacts.

  • Transportation Infrastructure Disaster Relief Fund

Michigan county road agencies experience $1+ M disasters on their road systems about every other year. The damage frequently exceeds the county’s available road improvement budget. Legislative action is then required, with success dependent on many factors. CRA proposes the Legislature establish and fund a Transportation Infrastructure Disaster Relief Fund administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury to assist county and municipal road agencies. The Fund would have an annual MTF allocation and be capped.

Local Government

  • Township Matching Program

Recognizing that townships contribute over $186 M annually in matching funds for road and bridge projects, CRA supports townships’ input on mutually funded county projects that follow asset management concepts.


  • Government Tort Liability Act, County Road Law clarifications

A 2016 Court of Appeals ruling has upset two decades of case law regarding the precedence of the Government Tort Liability Act and the County Road Law, which have differing requirements for county road agencies defending an injury on the roadway. CRA supports amending current laws to create consistency and clarity in the specificity and timeframe for reporting accidents.

  • Haul Route Permits

CRA supports legislation allowing county road agencies to issue permits and require bonds, deposits, fees or other agreements to recover costs or repair damage to public roads resulting from intensive, repetitive trucking.

  • Highway Liability

CRA supports legislation to reduce county road agency liability by statutorily limiting the definition of the improved portion of the highway to the physical structure of the traveled portion of the roadbed actually designed for public vehicular travel.

  • Implements of Husbandry

CRA recognizes the importance of farming in Michigan, although modern equipment and methods are damaging many county roads. CRA supports a study to review the existing Implements of Husbandry portion of the Michigan Vehicle Code and the relevant section of the Motor Fuel Tax Act.

  • Increasing Competitive Bid Thresholds

The current bid thresholds in the County Road Law were set in 2004 and have not kept pace with inflation, whether for road agency day-to-day operations or times of emergencies on the road/bridge network. CRA supports legislation to amend the County Road Law by increasing the competitive bid threshold from $15,000 to $100,000 for non-emergency items; and increasing the threshold for emergency purchases from $50,000 to $250,000. CRA also supports indexing these thresholds to the annual CPI increases.

  • Increased Cap for Local Force Account Work

County road agencies are limited in performing work with their own staff by a 20-year-old funding threshold that indicates all local projects >$100,000 must be competitively bid. Also, the road agency’s cost to perform projects <$100,000 with staff must be at least 6% below MDOT’s statewide bid tabulation. With today’s shortage of roadbuilding contractors, escalating paving prices, minimal MDOT summer maintenance funds, it is time to adjust this threshold. CRA seeks to increase the threshold to $250,000 per project, allowing county road agencies to do smaller road projects, utilize staff more efficiently and more quickly get new road funding onto Michigan roads.

  • Michigan Uniform Condemnation Procedures Act Revisions

Improvement of Michigan county roads is unnecessarily hindered by outdated, incompatible and very costly requirements for road agencies found in the Michigan Uniform Condemnation Procedures Act (PA 87). CRA seeks to revise this statute to allow public agencies to amend complaints to comply with notice requirements, to shift the burden of the owner’s litigation costs back to the property owner where they resided prior to 1980, and to better organize and clarify the statute.

  • MISS DIG Exemption

CRA supports legislation to exempt county road agencies from PA 174 of 2013. This is consistent with the exemption of MDOT or the marking of a county or intercounty drain by drain commissioners or drainage boards.

  • Overweight/Oversize Permits

CRA opposes any legislation to exempt vehicles from meeting legal weight limits on county roads, except for emergency vehicles or vehicles engaged in emergencies.

  • Publicly Funded Health Insurance Contribution Act Exemption

The Publicly Funded Health Insurance Contribution Act (PA 152) does not include county road commissions, which therefore fall under a “hard cap” limiting the amount the agency can contribute to medical benefit plans, with no “opt out” provision. This “cap” does not represent the true medical benefit increases experienced across the state, particularly in rural Michigan. CRA supports legislative action to amend PA 152 and/or work with the Michigan Department of Treasury to review the formula and hard cap, so that road agencies can be competitive in the employment market.

  • Seasonal Roads

CRA supports legislation to require real property transfers to disclose that the property is located on a seasonal road, and that this road will not be maintained November through April.

  • Seasonal Weight Restrictions

Michigan’s current seasonal weight restrictions (SWR) statutes require county road agencies to post all weight-restricted roads from determinant points in each county. This information is the opposite of what most heavy haulers want during SWR and posting dozens of pages or closed roads complicates the information industry desires. Heavy haulers want the unrestricted or all-season roads so they can plan their routes. CRA wishes to amend the SWR statute to require that only unrestricted or all-season routes be posted to streamline needed information.

  • State Highway Road Closures

CRA supports multi-agency collaboration on road closures and detours, including federal funding for detours and improvements, so as to best serve the public and avoid unexpected local road deterioration.

Natural Resources

  • Large Dead Animals on Roadways

CRA supports legislation addressing “dead animals” with consideration to assigning the responsibility to the MDNR. The state should provide an ecological disposal system in each county. Local agencies choosing to pick up animals from roadways should be reimbursed from funds other than dedicated transportation revenues.

  • Minerals on State-owned Land

CRA supports legislation to exempt road authorities from paying royalties for materials to be used for road work that are mined from state, county or privately-owned pits with state-owned mineral rights.

  • Off-road Vehicles (ORV) in Public Road Rights-of-Way

CRA supports legislation that would grant county road agencies authority to approve or deny any section of roadway proposed for ORV traffic, based on analysis of traffic safety criteria. CRA recommends 25% of ORV fees be distributed to county road agencies that have roads open to ORV use, based on actual miles.

  • Snowmobile Crossings

CRA supports creation of an interagency task force to identify sources for funding and repairing damaged highway crossings, identify all trail crossings through a statewide permit process, and that funding made available for trail/roadway crossings be shared by county road agencies and MDOT.


  • Permitting – Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy

CRA supports meeting with MDEGLE to develop a new memorandum of understanding regarding treatment of wetlands, including development of a training program on wetland handling, and additional exemptions.

Economic Development

  • Land Development

CRA supports legislation allowing each county road agency to review all new development having access to county roads; legislation requiring townships and developers of real estate adjacent to county roads to provide a dedicated right-of-way; and supports state and local efforts to develop effective access management plans for roadways throughout the state.

  • Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Program

CRA supports continuation and increased appropriation for TEDF, expanding eligible projects in Category A to include funding for any road improvements that expand Michigan’s Gross Domestic Product. CRA opposes diversions from TEDF.