In Michigan, all roads fall under one of three jurisdictions. About 8 percent are state highways (which includes interstates). Cities and villages control 17 percent of roads. The remaining 75 percent fall under the jurisdiction of countywide governmental agencies known as road commissions (with the exception of Wayne County, where the county's Department of Public Services functions as the road commission).
Road commissions were created by the Michigan Legislature in 1909 to provide uniformity in road construction and maintenance across the state.
Road commissions also provide local control of roads and a local base of road knowledge as well as efficient and economic road services for townships that, individually, cannot achieve the economies of scale available to a countywide agency.
County road commissions save money, standardize road work, and efficiently provide safe and convenient roads.
Road commissions have no taxing authority and get most of their funds from fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees. Fuel taxes, as user fees, are considered the most equitable way of paying for roads.
Road commissions are also separate from county general government, and are governed by three-member boards. The members of the RCOC Board of Road Commissioners are appointed by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and serve for six-year terms.
RCOC: Unique among road commissions
RCOC has a larger road system than any other county road agency in Michigan. Only the Michigan Department of Transportation has a larger road system.
- 2,700-plus miles of county roads
- More than 230 miles of state highways in Oakland County
- Approximately 90 bridges
- Approximately 1,500 traffic signals
- Approximately 150,000 traffic signs
RCOC provides summer and winter maintenance on its roads and is under contract by the state to maintain state highways in the county.
Because many people do not know road commissions are separate from county general government, in Oakland County, the name was changed to the Road Commission for Oakland County to make the distinction clearer and to emphasize our customer-service focus.
As a matter of policy, major road improvements are provided based on a safety ranking system. At RCOC, "Safety First" is more than just a motto.
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