Mailboxes

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Most rural mailboxes are located adjacent to the road to allow for efficient delivery of mail but placing mailboxes adjacent to a road can be a hazard to the motoring public. Accordingly, the Shiawassee County Road Commission (SCRC) has adopted standards for the placement of mailboxes and newspaper delivery boxes along county roads. These standards conform to the rules and regulations of the U.S. Postal Service and are based on A Guide for Erecting Mailboxes on Highways published by the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials.

If a mailbox or newspaper delivery box interferes with the traveling public or the function, maintenance, or operation of the county roadway system, it shall be immediately removed by the owner upon notification via first class mail by the SCRC. At the discretion of the Shiawassee County Road Commission, based on an assessment of the hazard to the public, the patron will be granted no less than 7 days nor more than 30 days to remove an unacceptable mailbox. After the removal period has expired, the unacceptable mailbox will be removed by the Shiawassee County Road Commission at the postal patron’s expense in accordance with MCL 247.171.

You can read our Mailbox Policy here.

The roadside face of the box shall be offset the following distances:

  • Paved road – the width of the shoulder plus one foot
  • Gravel road – one foot from the edge of the traveled portion of the roadway
  • Curbed street – one foot from the face of the curb

When a mailbox is located on an intersecting road it shall be placed a minimum of 100 feet beyond the center of the intersecting road in the direction of the delivery route. This distance should be increased to 200 feet when the average daily traffic on the intersecting road exceeds 400 vehicles per day.

Where a mailbox is installed in the vicinity of an existing guardrail, whenever practical, it shall be placed behind the guardrail.

  • Mailboxes shall be constructed of plastic, aluminum and/or lightweight galvanized steel and conforming to requirements of the U.S. Postal Service. Newspaper delivery boxes shall be of lightweight steel or plastic construction of minimum dimensions suitable for holding a newspaper. Mailboxes constructed of plastic although attractive do not stand up well to winter snow plowing operations. During the winter period it is recommended that these boxes be replaced with standard metal mailboxes.
  • No more than two mailboxes may be mounted on a support structure unless the support structure and mailbox arrangement have been shown to be safe by crash testing. However, lightweight newspaper boxes may be mounted below the mailbox on the side of the mailbox support.
  • Mailbox posts shall be 4-inch x 4-inch square or 4½-inch round diameter wooden post or a metal post with strength no greater than 2-inch diameter standard strength steel pipe. A metal post shall not be fitted with an anchor plate but may have an anti-twist device that extends no more than 10 inches below the ground surface.
  • Mailbox posts shall be embedded no greater than 24 inches into the ground.
  • Mailbox supports shall not be set in concrete.
  • The post-to-box attachment details should be of sufficient strength to prevent the box from separating from the post top if the installation is struck by a vehicle.

Mailboxes can be knocked down by SCRC trucks when they plow snow.  Mailbox owners are encouraged to prepare mailboxes for winter by tightening screws and ensuring the post and receptacle are secure. If the mailbox moves when shaken, it may not withstand standard snow removal operations and should be repaired or replaced before winter.  Mailboxes should withstand wet, heavy snow and slush coming off from a plow. SCRC will not repair or replace a mailbox if it was broken by the sheer force of the snow coming off the plow blade.

Mailbox ‘snowboards’ are becoming increasingly popular in areas which receive heavy snowfall. The idea is that the snowboard will take the impact of the weight of the snow and ice instead of the mailbox and post.

You can read more about snowboards here.  (insert G:\Mailbox – Policy, Claims\Mailbox snowboard)

The Board regrets any damage to mailboxes and/or supports that occurs as a result of road maintenance activities. The Board will provide a gift card from Home Depot in the amount of $ 25.00.  The Board offers this even though, by law, is not legally responsible for personal property claims while in the course of its governmental function.  You can complete and submit a damage claim form here. (insert G:\Mailbox – Policy, Claims\Mailbox Damage Claim Form)