State of South Dakota  
EIGHTY-EIGHTH SESSION
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY, 2013  

339U0509   HOUSE TRANSPORTATION ENGROSSED    NO.  SB 151 -  02/19/2013  

Introduced by:    Senators Vehle, Frerichs, Krebs, Lucas, Monroe, Van Gerpen, and White and Representatives Verchio, Bartling, Feickert, Hickey, Peterson, Rounds, Rozum, and Tulson
 

        FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to clarify the maintenance responsibilities on unimproved section lines.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
    Section 1. That § 31-18-1 be amended to read as follows:
    31-18-1. There is along every each section line in this state a public highway right-of-way located by operation of law, except where some a portion of the highway right-of-way along such the section line has been heretofore vacated or relocated by the lawful action of some an authorized public officer, board, or tribunal.
    Section 2. That § 31-18-2 be amended to read as follows:
    31-18-2. Every Each statutory section-line highway right-of-way shall be sixty-six feet wide and shall be taken equally from each side of the section line, unless changed as provided in this title, but. However, nothing herein contained shall prevent prevents the highway authority charged with the construction, reconstruction, or repair of any public highway along a section line from purchasing or condemning right-of-way for widening the highway to more than

sixty-six feet or. Nor is the highway authority prevented from purchasing or condemning more right-of-way on one side of the section line than on the other, provided they deem if it is deemed necessary so to do in order to provide a better highway, to avoid destruction of trees or valuable buildings, or to avoid unsuitable terrain.
    Section 3. That § 31-18-3 be amended to read as follows:
    31-18-3. The board of county commissioners may vacate or change the location of any section-line highway right-of-way under its jurisdiction and the board of supervisors of an organized township may vacate or change the location of any section-line highway right-of-way under its jurisdiction, as provided in this title, but neither board may vacate or change any portion of the state trunk highway system or any highway constructed by state or federal aid or any highway within the limits of a municipal corporation. Also, a board of supervisors may not vacate or change any portion of the county highway system, nor may a board of county commissioners vacate or change any portion of the township road system. In addition, no board of county commissioners or board of supervisors may vacate a section-line highway right-of-way which provides access to public lands. This section does not prohibit the closing of a section-line highway to vehicular traffic if the highway is unsafe for vehicular traffic.
    Section 4. That § 31-18-4 be amended to read as follows:
    31-18-4. The apportionment, division, or survey of lands any land acquired by reliction, either by the owner or owners of such lands, or by virtue of the judgment of any court, pursuant to the provisions of this code, shall do not in any manner operate as an abandonment or vacation of any legal highway right-of-way along or across any such lands, and all land. Any section-line highways highway right-of-way along or across any such lands land shall continue to be a public highways highway right-of-way until changed or vacated in the manner provided by law.
    Section 5. That § 31-13-1 be amended to read as follows:


    31-13-1. The board of township supervisors shall construct, repair, and maintain all of the township roads within the township. The township road system consists of improved section line roads; judicially declared roads; roads impliedly accepted by the township through routine performance of certain maintenance activities, such as grading, graveling and snow removal, and accepting funds from the county pursuant to §§ 32-11-4.1, 32-11-6, and 32-22-35 for a period of at least fifteen years; and any other roads designated by resolution of the board as being on the township road system. A road may only be vacated through the process specified in chapter 31-3. Before a road may be added to the township road system, it the road shall meet the minimum requirements specified in §§ 31-18-2 and 31-13-4, unless the board, by resolution, waives this requirement.
    Section 6. That chapter 31-13 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
    The board of township supervisors may designate an unimproved section line right-of-way not maintained for vehicle travel as a no maintenance section line. The board shall identify the beginning and end point of the section line designated as no maintenance. No board has responsibility on a no maintenance section line right-of-way except to require removal or remediation of a manmade obstruction, if needed, to maintain the public access.
    Section 7. That chapter 31-13 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
    The board of township supervisors shall post signs on a no maintenance section line right-of-way to notify the motoring public that it is a no maintenance section line and that the public travels on the section line at its own risk. The signs shall be posted at each entry point and at regular intervals along a no maintenance section line. A properly posted sign is prima facie evidence that adequate notice of a no maintenance section line has been given to the motoring

public.
    Section 8. Nothing in chapters 31-13 and 31-18 precludes any gas utility or electric utility as defined in chapter 49-34A, consumer power district, municipal utility, rural electric, telecommunications company, or entity created by chapter 34A-5, 46A-3A, or 46A-9 or any nonprofit engaged in the treatment, distribution, and sale of water to rural consumers from constructing, maintaining, or operating any facility along, upon, or under publicly owned land including any road, highway, right-of-way, street, alley, bridge, or causeway.