September 24, 1998 (517) 335-6397

MDOT Accepts Responsibility for 120 Miles of Local Roads

Rationalization of road jurisdiction to improve service to motorists

Governor John Engler announced today that the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and 12 cities and county road commissions have agreed to transfer 120 miles of local roads to the state.

Calhoun County will turn over almost 40 miles and Marquette County almost 30 miles. The state will also assume responsibility for some roads in Allegan, Barry, Newaygo, and Mecosta counties. Cities transferring roads are Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Marshall, White Cloud, Albion and Springfield.

The 12 road agencies agreed that the particular roads have regional and statewide significance and therefore have been selected for transfer. These routes will become part of the state highway system on October 1.

"A primary goal of the rationalization process is to develop a state road system that will serve as the commercial backbone of Michigan's economy," said Governor Engler. "With MDOT having responsibility for the high-volume, commercially significant routes across Michigan, the counties and cities will be better equipped to provide the appropriate attention and resources to those local roads providing direct access to homes and property."

"These roads will now be monitored under a pilot study that will give us the opportunity to address some of the unanswered questions raised early in the process by local governments," said James DeSana, Director of MDOT. "This pilot will give us an objective technical framework for evaluating roads to be included on the commercial backbone system once legislative changes can be made," DeSana said.

The City of Kalamazoo was the first jurisdiction to agree to a road transfer. Over three miles of South Westnedge Avenue have been transferred. This is a road on the National Highway System and clearly functions as a state trunkline. Part of the agreement includes MDOT financing improvements to the road during the 1998 construction season.

Other highlights include the Marquette County transfer of County Roads 553, 460,462 and a soon to be constructed County Road 460/462 connector that have regional and statewide significance. County Roads 460 and 462, along with the proposed connector, provide a major east/west route across K.I. Sawyer Airport between US-41 and County Road 553.

"I am very pleased that we were able to come to these agreements," said DeSana. "The rationalization of Michigan's highway system provides a unique opportunity for all road agencies to assess their systems and determine appropriate responsibility. These negotiated agreements balance statewide economic interests against the jurisdictional concerns of local road authorities."

The cities and counties will continue to perform routine maintenance on these road segments under existing contracts. Additionally, MDOT will transfer jurisdiction of over 24 miles of M-20 (12 miles from the east city limits of White Cloud to the east county line and 12 miles from the east city limits of Freemont to the west city limits of White Cloud) to Newago County. The list of transferred roads is attached.

For more detailed information, please contact Gary G. Naeyaert, MDOT Communications, at 517-335-3084.



Allegan County
(6.1 miles)

Barry County (10.9 miles)

Calhoun County (39.3 miles)

-- Cooper Avenue from E. Emmett Street to N Drive N

Marquette County (29.4 miles)

Mecosta County (4.0 miles)

Newaygo County (12.6 miles)


City of Albion
(1.1 miles)

City of Battle Creek (7.2 miles)

City of Kalamazoo (4.7 miles)

City of Marshall (1.6 miles)

City of Springfield (1.5 miles)

City of White Cloud (1.1 miles)