The SDAPS, with automated processes to input, review, and approve permit applications,
verifies required information (license #s, registration #s, origin-destination, etc.);
documents truck and load configurations (e.g., input lengths, tire sizes & truck configurations, etc.);
automatically routes vehicles within and through the state;
performs bridge structural analysis as an integral part of the checking of the vehicle route for clearances and other restrictions, and
graphically displays, on a map of the state, routing alternatives for road and bridge approved routing.
While the SDAPS routes commercial vehicles on state highways, vehicle trips will often originate at, or end on a city or county roadway. Therefore, the technical panel that guided the development of the SDAPS recommended an evaluation be completed to determine if the SDAPS should be expanded to serve local governments.
Several cities have designated commercial truck routes within the city limits. However, the Office of Data Inventory indicated GIS data necessary to create a local road network for routing purposes is not readily available for all of the local jurisdictions, and a consistent procedure for updating the roadway information has not yet been established. Also, timely roadway restriction information is not readily available for local roadways, and procedures for gathering and updating the data would need to be developed for each city and county that deploys a local permitting and routing system.
The South Dakota Department of Transportation has a local bridge inventory that is updated annually. However, there is no state requirement mandating the Bridge Analysis and Rating System (BARS) software be used to analyze the load bearing capacity of the bridges. Since the SDAPS Superload software requires the BARS analysis ratings, the current bridge inventory would have to be completely reanalyzed before it could be used for a local routing system. In addition, existing geographic bridge location information may not be consistent with the current SDDOT GIS referencing system, thereby causing problems when locating bridges on the GIS roadway network.
A recent survey conducted by the Office of Research indicated that several South Dakota counties and cities have developed procedures for issuing oversize and overweight commercial vehicle permits. However, a uniform set of guidelines or procedures has not been developed. Only fifteen of the thirty-eight counties that responded to the survey expressed an interest in developing a standardized permitting system. Twenty-three counties are not interested and the remaining twenty-eight counties did not even respond to the survey. Five of the Class One Cities responded to the survey but only three had an interest in developing a local permitting system. In calendar year 2002, Sioux Falls issued approximately 700 annual overweight permits. However, the city commission recently passed a resolution that repeals the requirement for an annual overweight permit beginning in 2004.
Research would be needed to evaluate the feasibility, and potential cost of extending the new SDAPS to the counties and cities that are interested in developing a standardized permitting and routing system. In addition, the research would need to determine if local road and bridge information could be modified for use in the SDAPS, as well as what types of maintenance issues would be encountered for the roadway networks. The variety of rules and regulations that have been adopted by county and city governments would need to be standardized so they could be programmed into the SDAPS rules and regulations permitting database. Enforcement of the permit conditions is also an issue since the Highway Patrol enforces the state issued permits but not those issued by cities or counties.