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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How much money is provided and distributed to the 27 townships of Saginaw County?
  2. How does the Road Commission receive its revenue?
  3. When is a Saginaw County Road Commission permit necessary, and I how do I go about applying for one?
  4. What is the Road Commission right of way?
  5. What types of landscaping can be placed within the road right of way?
  6. What are the requirements for placing concrete to the edge of the road for my driveway?
  7. Why can't I place a brick structure around my mailbox?
  8. Why do we need to place weight restrictions and when are they in effect?
  9. Does the Road Commission have Class A, B or Seasonal Roads?
  10. How do you determine in what order to plow roads?
  11. How do I get a road paved?
  12. If the Township does not have any money to pave a road, are there any other options?
  13. How do I get a road graveled or brined?
  14. How do I get a gravel road graded?
  15. What do I do if there is dead deer in the roadway?
  16. Who takes care of the street lights?
  17. Who issues addresses for new homes?
  18. Who maintains the railroad crossings?
  19. Who maintains the State roads, such as I-75, M-46, etc.?
  20. Who is responsible for constructing and maintaining sidewalks?
  21. How do I obtain a county map?
  22. Who is responsible for placing and maintaining signs in mobile home parks, private businesses, malls, etc.?
  23. Who determines speed limits and how can I get my speed limit changed?
  24. If I buy my Annual Permit (Cab Card) today, how long before I have to renew it?

 

1. How much money is provided and distributed to the 27 townships of Saginaw County?
At the beginning of each calendar year 5.5% of the previous year’s Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF) is distributed equitably amongst the 27 townships based on their respective miles of local roads and population. Each individual township allocation is then reduced by the amount of Chapter 20 Drain Assessments if there are any.

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2. 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.

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3. When is a Saginaw 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 Saginaw 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.  These four items are explained in more detail in our "Policies/Procedures" page.  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 obtained in person at the Saginaw County Road Commission, but can be downloaded from the "Permits" page of the web site to fill out the paperwork in advance.

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4. 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 Saginaw 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.

The Saginaw County Road Commission has a proposed "Future Use Right of Way" map that is used for planning purposes related to long term growth and development.  The map provides a guideline for those involved with development to plan for proper building setbacks and site plan preparation for future infrastructure improvements.

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5. 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 Saginaw 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 Saginaw County Road Commission Permits Department with any specific questions related to the allowance of landscaping elements within the road right of way.

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6. Why can't I place concrete to the edge of the road for my driveway?
Top of concrete at edge of roadway shall be 1/2" to 3/4" lower than top of asphalt, drive approach shall slope away from roadway for a minimum distance of 6' prior to rising to meet grade of property, also top of drive shall be equal to or lower than road shoulder area adjacent to drive. All concrete placed within 10' of roadway shall be a minimum of 6" thick.

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7. 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.

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8. 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 "Graphic" 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.

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9. 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 Saginaw 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.  Additionally, several Townships have implemented local ordinances that further restrict commercial and/or truck traffic.  

The majority of the roadways under the jurisdiction of the Saginaw 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 Saginaw 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.  The Saginaw County Road Commission "All Seasons" road network can be found on our "Maps" page. 

As mentioned previously, several townships within Saginaw County have enacted a local township ordinance restricting commercial vehicles and/or trucks on their respective local road systems.  Truck drivers and commercial enterprises should check with the local unit of government for any restrictions that may have been introduced at the township level.

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10. How do you determine in what order to plow roads?
We plow Primary Roads first, Secondary Roads second, and Subdivisions third. Due to our limited resources, it can take up to 3 days before we can plow subdivision roads. During snow storms that have heavy accumulations or have accumulations over several days, it could take even longer to clear subdivision roads. Follow this link to our "Saginaw County Map" with a listing of roads and their classification.

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11. How do I get a road paved?

  • Primary Roads - selected 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.
  • Local Roads - selected by the townships based on the concern of the public and the amount of money that they have available to cost share with the Road Commission. Please contact your local township for further information.

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12. If the Township does not have any money to pave a road, are there any other options?
Normally Federal and State money is available for use on the primary road system.  As for the local road system, the townships have the ability to assess the property owners for the cost of construction if they are petitioned by the home owners.

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13. How do I get a road graveled or brined?
These types of projects are almost always within the limits of a local road. Local road projects require financial commitment from the respective township. Requests for projects of this nature shall be submitted to the Road Commission through authorized township personnel.

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14. How do I get a gravel road graded?
This is done on a routine basis; however, you can call the Road Commission office at (989) 752-6140

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15. 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. To get the animal removed, you will need to call the Saginaw County Sheriff's office at 989-790-5456 option 8.

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16. 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. Click here to report a non-functioning street light online

Some subdivision associations are responsible for their own street lights. Please contact your subdivision association for more information.

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17. Who issues addresses for new homes?
The Saginaw County Road Commission acts as a contract agent for Saginaw County to administer its county-wide addressing ordinance. Ordinance #113 (House Addressing Ordinance) was adopted by the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners on February 25, 1997 and amended on November 15, 2005.   Fill out the "Address Request Form"  - or call us at (989) 752-6140.

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18. Who maintains the railroad crossings?
The appropriate railroad company.  Usually there is a small metal placard located on the crossbuck (railroad crossing) sign adjacent to the track with this information. Click here for a list of Railroad Company Emergency Phone Numbers.

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19. Who maintains the State roads, such as I-75, M-46, etc.?
Michigan Department of Transportation has jurisdiction over these roads, except in the City of Saginaw, where the City maintains them. The phone number for the Michigan Department of Transportation is (989) 754-7443. The City of Saginaw's street maintenance number is (989) 759-1696.

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20. 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.

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21. How do I obtain a county map?
Saginaw County Road Commission administrative office - $2.00 each; or, by mail is $2.00 each plus postage; or, download the following map for free "Saginaw County Map".  Please call our office at (989) 752-6140 for current postage rates.

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22. 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.

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23. 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.

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.

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24. If I buy my Annual Permit (Cab Card) today, how long before I have to renew it?

Annual permits (Cab Cards) expire on the last day of February of each calendar year regardless of when they are purchased and cover unlimited number of moves as long as all provisions of the permit are met. Annual Permits do not cover moves during times of seasonal weight restrictions.

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