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South Dakota Utility Crossing License (3-SD-e)

A developer in South Dakota may need to obtain a Utility Crossing License from the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) Office of Railroads for transmission projects that have above ground transmission lines that cross or encroach on a South Dakota state railroad’s right-of-way. S.D. Codified Laws §49-16A-100.3.


Utility Crossing License Process

3-SD-e.1 – Application for Overhead Pole and Wire Occupancy

A developer must complete and submit an Application for Overhead Pole and Wire Occupancy (Application) to SDDOT. The Application must include:

  • The developer’s name and contact information;
  • The location where the transmission line encroaches on the state railroad right-of-way;
  • Details of the transmission lines crossing the railroad right-of-way, including:
    • The number of circuits;
    • Relative voltages;
    • Material types;
    • Amount of clearance; and
    • Load currents; and
  • Details of the poles holding the transmission lines, including:
    • The size of the poles;
    • The material used in constructing the poles; and
    • Information on the type of supports used on the poles.

A developer also must submit a certificate of insurance showing coverage for the proposed project crossing the railroad right of way. S.D. Codified Laws §49-16A-100.6.

A developer may also need to submit a one-time crossing fee with the Application. If the encroachment is located within a public right-of-way, no fee is assessed. If the encroachment is not located within a public right-of-way, the developer must pay a $750 fee per track in the encroachment. Application for Overhead Pole and Wire Occupancy.

3-SD-e.2 to 3-SD-e.3 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

After receiving an Application, SDDOT Office of Railroads reviews the Application for administrative and technical completeness. If the Application is not complete, the developer must correct the deficiencies.

3-SD-e.4 to 3-SD-e.5 – Assess Application

After determining the Application is complete, SDDOT Office of Railroads assesses the Application to ensure it complies with SDDOT’s Utility Crossing requirements, some of which are listed on the Application for Overhead Pole and Wire Occupancy.

3-SD-e.6 – Send Draft Utility Crossing License

If SDDOT Office of Railroads approves the Application, SDDOT creates a draft of a Utility Crossing License, and sends that document to the developer to sign.

3-SD-e.7 – Sign and Return Draft Utility Crossing License

Once the developer receives the draft of the Utility Crossing License, the developer must sign the Utility Crossing License in the appropriate space, and return the document to SDDOT Office of Railroads.

3-SD-e.8 – Utility Crossing License

Once SDDOT Office of Railroads receives the signed document from the developer, SDDOT Office of Railroads executes a final Utility Crossing License that allows the developer’s transmission project to encroach on the specified state railroad right-of-way.



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