The Road Commission issues permits which are required to put in a driveway, erect a sign, install a pipeline, put in a utility line and to move an overweight or overwidth load on the right-of-way. The use of permits came about for safety and also to protect the roads. Any county with heavy logging or oil well traffic will usually have a permit system to protect against damage to the roads. The charge for the permit in most cases is to help defray the cost of someone going out to check on the permit and for damage to the roads.
Moving permits are issued for loads that are overweight, overwidth or overlength. Generally Otsego County enforces the same restrictions as are established on the State Highways. In general, any load over 8-1/2 feet wide or over 65 feet long requires a permit. Mobile homes are allowed to move on County Roads with an approved permit. The load limits in Michigan depend on axle weight and on the tire size as well as how far apart the axles are. Trucker's maps are available from the State Department of Transportation that have charts giving the maximum loads per axle. Annual "Extended Transportation Permits" are available but are not valid during the Spring Frost Laws.
If driveways are put too close together, too close to an intersection or too high in relation to the road, they can cause a hazard. A driveway put in on a hill generally must have a culvert for proper drainage. If you were to pave your driveway and make it higher than the shoulder of the road, we could hit it with a plow and damage the plow or worse - have an accident. These are all reasons for us to require driveway permits and why we want to go out and check each one.
If you have a business and wish to put a sign in the right-of-way, Building and Zoning requires that you get a permit from them...you are also required to get one from the Road Commission. There are many reasons for us to require a permit for signs; the main reason is for safety. Some hazards are: signs that block the view from a driveway or road, signs that are in the way when snowplowing and signs that detract from a driver's attention.
Seismic lines, overhead power and telephone lines, buried cable, buried pipes and tree clearing on the right-of-way all require permits. In general, if you want to do something in the right-of-way, it is advisable to give us a call as it may prevent problems later. Moving and seismic permits are issued during our regular office hours. All other permits are approved by the Board at their regular meetings after being reviewed by our permit department.