NDOT Permitting Fees

NDOT Permitting Fees

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    Research report, 7/1/2015 –7/31/2018
  • Abstract:
    In this study, the objective of assessing the permit fees of overweight vehicles in Nebraska along with a review of surrounding Midwestern states was carried out in six stages. The first stage included a TAC meeting and a literature review. The second stage was the examination of the Nebraska permit process and structure utilizing the Nebraska Department of Transportation’s (NDOT) website and consultation with NDOT staff. The purpose of documentation was to ensure the research team’s understanding of the issues besides conducting a comparison with other states. The third stage consisted of a review of different state DOT’s policies/procedures. A review of online information available from surrounding state DOTs was made to document their permit fee policies and procedures. To obtain more information and verify the online information on permits, state DOTs including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Wyoming were contacted and asked to provide detailed information on their agency procedures via a telephone/mail questionnaire (no human subjects were involved). The outcome of the online and telephone/mail questionnaire was structured and presented in a set of tables for reference and comparison. The fourth stage was a comparison of permit data. Five hundred overweight vehicles were randomly simulated based on dimension and weight criteria, and the permit fees were calculated for these trucks, for Nebraska and all other states. Based on the average fee of each state for single-trip and annual permits, the states were sorted from expensive to cheap. Nebraska was found to be among the cheaper half of the studied states, both for single-trip and continuous permits. The fifth stage included examination of overweight vehicle costs to Nebraska. An estimate of damage to Nebraska highway infrastructure resulting from overweight vehicles was made based on published statistics for damage to pavements. The results, based on a number of assumptions, provided a table of pavement damage costs for different weight groups and mileages of overweight vehicles. These values may be used for policy-making regarding permit fees. The sixth stage was documentation and preparation of this final report. The main conclusion of the study was that Nebraska’s current permit fees are relatively low, compared to other states and compared to the estimated damage costs to its pavements. While the approaches used for comparison in this study were based on reasonable assumptions, relaxing these assumptions by accessing/utilizing more detailed information may provide possibly different results. Nonetheless, a consideration of increase in the current permit fees for oversize/overweight trucks is warranted on the basis of analysis presented herein.
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