Street Use Inspections

What We Do

Street Use inspectors are responsible for enforcing the right-of-way rules and regulations of the City of Seattle, including the permit conditions. This is to ensure that all construction, safety, and accessibility requirements of the permit are met as approved. All inspections are billed at an hourly rate.

Inspectors both proactively inspect project sites and respond to inquiries from the traveling public. Simple projects and right-of-way uses (such as moving containers and dumpsters) are only inspected if a problem warrants it, while more complex projects fall into a routine inspection schedule.

The inspection schedule for complex projects is as follows:

  1. Initial inspection: To ensure traffic-control and stormwater best management practices are set up correctly, and to review the project at the very start.
  2. Periodic site inspections: To ensure that all work is staying in compliance with the terms of the permit. The periodic inspection schedule varies in association with the possible impacts to the transportation network and surrounding land use.
    • Every 10 days for arterials, high-impact areas, or urban villages
    • Every 20 days for low-impact areas
  3. Final inspection: To ensure that the street and sidewalk are clear, and that all infrastructure is properly repaired.
  4. Acceptance inspection: To ensure that any restoration is functioning and without defect.

Program Goals

The Street Use inspections team seeks to:

  • Ensure that work permitted for the right of way is done in accordance with the terms of issued permits
  • Identify unpermitted work taking place in the right of way and take action to either halt the work or bring it under permit

Inspection Districts and Assigned Inspectors

The Inspection Districts map shows the various inspection districts within Seattle, along with the name of the inspector assigned to each district. In addition to assigned district inspectors that primarily focus on use of the right of way, we also have street improvement inspectors who inspect new infrastructure being built in the right of way. These inspectors work closely with the district inspectors, but are assigned on a project-by- project basis.

For general questions about Street Use inspections, please call the Street Use permit counter at 206-684-5253.

Click the inspection map to open a larger, printable version. 

Inspection district map with names of the inspectors

So You Want To...

All inspections are billed at an hourly rate and will be based on the time spent on the project site. The current hourly inspection rate is listed on the Street Use permit fee schedule.

Please note that working in the right of way without a permit covering all needed uses of public space may result in issuance of warnings, citations (with monetary penalties), and/ or stop-work orders.

If you would like to report a concern or request an inspection of construction activity in the right of way, please use the City of Seattle Customer Service Bureau (CSB) service request form, or contact a CSB representative at 206-684-ROAD.

To notify SDOT of a time sensitive safety-related issue please call our 24-hour dispatch office at 206-386-1218

If you would like to learn more about City of Seattle right-of-way codes and rules you may want to start with the following links:

Additional information and tools to help you plan specific types of projects in the right of way can be found on our permit templates and checklists page.