By Denise Donohue, Director
County Road Association of Michigan
There is a lot of change in the air when it comes to transportation permits that are required to move oversize and overwidth vehicles on Michigan’s local road system. And some of them may impact vehicles used by the road and aggregate industries, which are also in full tilt.
First, the county road commissions and road departments across the state are in various stages of moving toward standardized permits, and toward using new technology that allows rapid online application, processing, payment and issuance of e-permits through an on-line permit clearinghouse system.
In the summer of 2015 the County Road Association (CRA) of Michigan brought together a working group of licensed professional engineers from urban, rural and mid-size county road agencies to scrutinize its nearly 20-year-old standardized permits.
The group plus legal counsel looked at all eight special transportation permits – three of which are used only in late winter through spring, during seasonal weight restrictions; the two haul route notification forms used for agriculture and utility overweight moves; five of which are used throughout the year for overweight and oversized loads; and CRA’s Work in the Right-of-Way Permit, which applies to some road construction projects.
The team found that some of the permits had not kept up with changes in the law; and other permits had been merged together to reduce the number of forms, which muddled proper application of the law.
During the 17 years since the permits were updated, staff had changed at county road agencies with hand-me-down instructions – most fully accurate, but some less clear.
Over the last three years, every form has been reviewed, revised and recreated in pdf-fillable format. The final permit was finished and approved by CRA’s Engineering Committee and board of directors in………