RCOC marks centennial milestone with open house celebration

The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) is celebrating a milestone this year – it turns 100 years old.

The agency was created in 1913 following a vote of county residents in 1912, and the appointment of the first three road commissioners on May 6, 1913. The newly minted Board went on to conduct its maiden meeting on May 7, 1913.

On May 18, RCOC will host a centennial open house, at which the public is invited to visit the agency’s Waterford Township garage. The garage will be outfitted with a variety of displays depicting the various agency functions and the way they have evolved over the last century. Also at the open house and always popular with children and adults alike, there will be a “touch a truck” opportunity, with a variety of the agency’s heavy equipment used to maintain the modern road system. Themed snacks, hotdogs and beverages will be available.

The Waterford Garage, part of RCOC’s Paul Van Roekel Service Center, is located at 2420 Pontiac Lake Road (at County Center Drive West). The event will run from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with an opening ceremony at 11:00 a.m.

“This agency has a very proud history,” Stated RCOC Chairman Greg Jamian. “Virtually from our inception, this Road Commission has been on the cutting edge in terms of road maintenance practices and equipment.”

In the intervening years, the agency has frequently dealt with traffic congestion as the county has witnessed population boom after population boom. “From the start, we have been dealing with overcrowded roads,” Jamian said.  “As a result, we have become a national leader at congestion management, through our high-tech traffic signals system and adoption of new designs such as roundabouts. Traffic professionals from around the world continue to study what we do.”

Jamian noted RCOC is also respected as a national leader in the field of traffic safety. “In 1978, we made safety our official number-one priority.” Jamian said. “Prior to that, Oakland County had a traffic fatality rate that was much higher than both the state and national rates. Since 1978, safety concerns have guided virtually everything we do, from project selection and design to road maintenance activities. As a result, today Oakland County has a traffic fatality rate that is half of either the state or national rates.”

RCOC maintains the largest county road system in Michigan with more than 2,700 miles of public roads under its jurisdiction. It also maintains nearly all 230 miles of state highways in the county, 1,500 traffic signals and more than 150,000 traffic signs.

About Tom and Ann Gendich

Founders of Rochester Media. Looking to provide great local news to all people in and around Rochester and Rochester Hills. Send them a note at info@rochestermedia.com.

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