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SDOT Street Use: Major Improvements Permits

Street Use Right-of-Way Management Counter Wait Times and Permit Timelines Update

Due to a high volume of permit applications and significant staff transitions, we are experiencing longer permit counter wait times and review timelines. Please plan your trip to the permit counter and project timelines accordingly.

Permit Counter Wait Times (may vary depending on the number of counter visitors):

  • Construction use: 40-60 minutes
  • Minor utility: 20-40 minutes

Permit Review Timelines (may vary with permit complexity):

  • Arterial streets / construction hubs: 8-10 weeks
  • Non-arterial streets: 6-8 weeks
  • Modification requests: 4-6 weeks
  • (Note: Individual status inquiries may not be responded to if the permit review time has not exceeded the timelines listed above.)

We appreciate your patience as we hire and train additional reviewers over the next couple of months.


Permitting Process Improvements Implemented September 5

Our SDOT Street Use team is implementing many permitting process improvements and enhanced applicant guidance information September 5, 2017. The following collection of changes and improvements work to make the permitting process clear and easy to understand:

  • Updated Client Assistance Memos for:
    • Utility Major Permitting (CAM 2600)
    • ROW Management Permitting (CAM 2109)
    • ROW Management Site Plan Requirements (CAM 2116)
  • Process change updates that reduce touch points along the permit path
  • Clearer guidance on when utility work triggers a Major review
  • Clarification on the process for pole work in the curb radius
  • Updated utility permit applications
  • New permit modification application
  • Clarity on when you�re required to have a ROW Management Design Guidance meeting (formerly called Preliminary ROW Assessment Meetings or PRAMs)
  • Invoiced review/inspection fees � no more deposits/prepayment

To learn more about these customer service enhancements, open this PDF file of a presentation reviewing the new approach.

NOTE: Another recent change that improves efficiency REQUIRES ACTION - All Utility Permit inquiries and materials go to: SDOTUtilPermits@seattle.gov

Shoring and Excavation

Shoring permits are issued for work that supports the earth in a trench or vertical cut for construction or other activity. Excavation permits are issued for excavations in or near the right of way that could, by the nature of the excavation, negatively impact the right of way or utilities in the right of way. In cases where the right of way will be affected by shoring or excavation, Street Use performs shoring review in partnership with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (Seattle DCI).

Street Improvements and Plan Review

Street improvement permits include the installation of major improvements such as street paving, curbs, and sidewalks in conjunction with development on private property. Included in the permit are utilities that are necessary to serve the private development. This type of permit can also be issued for larger community projects, such as a block-long rain garden or a curb bulb.

The Street Use Street Improvement Permits (SIP) group can assist you in interpreting and applying Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (Seattle DCI) Land Use Code requirements for improvements in the right of way during design and construction. SIP provides project management and facilitates approval for private projects ranging from single family residences to large-scale mixed use developments and major interdepartmental projects for SDOT.

Major Utility Permits

Major utility permits are issued for the installation of underground and overhead utility mains and services in the public right of way. They are distinguished from simple utility permits by their greater length and/or by scope elements that require enhanced technical review. Generally, this utility work is greater than 100 feet in length, disturbs existing curb lines or crosswalk areas, or involves directional drilling. Please refer to Client Assistance Memo 2600 for more information.

Utility Permit Publications

Utility Major Intake Transmittal Form

Utility and Pavement Restoration Plan Checklist

Impact of Utility Cuts on Performance of Seattle Streets (PDF format): Final Report (including Appendix A, Literature Review) | Appendix C, Utility Cut Surveys | Appendix D, Deflection Test Data, Part One | Appendix D, Deflection Test Data, Part Two | Appendix D, Deflection Test Data, Part Three

Standards for Plans for Street Use Utility Permits

Standards for Above Ground Cabinets � Director Rule SDOT 2-2009

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