Feasibility of a Traffic Operations Center for South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) is one of the few state transportation agencies that does not yet operate a full-time traffic operations center (TOC). Staff of the department’s central, region, and area offices coordinate activities during extended single-shift working hours, but not on a 24x7 basis. They operate intelligent transportation system (ITS) devices—primarily dynamic message signs, surveillance cameras, environmental sensor stations, and mobile data collectors on snowplows—using separate, vendor-supplied software packages. Field maintenance and engineering personnel supply information about winter road conditions, work zones, incidents, and other events to the South Dakota 511 Traveler Information System. During the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, SDDOT operates a temporary traffic operations center using mostly manual processes from its Sturgis Maintenance Shop. This approach has worked in the past because of the rural state’s low traffic and modest ITS deployments, but increasing traffic, more extensive ITS deployment (including variable speed limits), and greater expectations from personal and commercial road users elevate the need for a dedicated traffic operations center. A dedicated center could not only integrate communication, monitoring, and control of SDDOT’s ITS assets, but also enable more coordinated human communication and response by SDDOT and other state and local agencies during routine and emergency operations. Research is needed to evaluate needs and opportunities related to establishing a traffic operations center in South Dakota and identify the essential functions a center would provide, and identify feasible design concepts suitable for South Dakota’s environment. In consideration of SDDOT’s limited size and funding, the research should evaluate the resources needed to support the identified concepts and develop plans to help SDDOT transition from its current capability.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $174951
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      South Dakota Department of Transportation

      700 East Broadway Avenue
      Pierre, SD  United States  57501
    • Managing Organizations:

      South Dakota Department of Transportation

      Office of Research
      700 East Broadway Avenue
      Pierre, SD  United States  57501-2586
    • Project Managers:

      Vandel, Andy

    • Performing Organizations:

      Bolton & Menk, Inc.

      1960 Premier Dr.
      Mankato, MN  United States  56001
    • Principal Investigators:

      Bittner, Mike

    • Start Date: 20230615
    • Expected Completion Date: 20241231
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01918354
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: South Dakota Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: SD2022-08
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: May 14 2024 2:31PM