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SDOT Street Use: Major Improvements Permits

Do you know we have new tools and guides to reduce potential right of way conflicts; streamline the permitting process; and mitigate impacts to surrounding neighborhoods?

Questions? Contact us at or 206.684.5253, or visit us on the 23rd floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower at 700 5th Avenue.

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.

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