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SDOT Street Use: Construction Use & Simple Utility 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:

Impacting Streets/Sidewalks for Construction Purposes

Many circumstances require use of the right of way for construction on both public and private property. Street use permits are issued for temporary use of the right of way during construction for activities such as material storage, scaffolding, crane placement, or crossing the curb and sidewalk with heavy equipment.


A temporary driveway is an asphalt driveway installed where there is no curb constructed. It requires a permit issued by Street Use, permits issued by the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (Seattle DCI), and a field review by an inspector for approval. Property owners are responsible for providing a temporary or permanent driveway so that vehicles do not drive over sidewalks, planting strips or curbs.

Sidewalk Repairs

Property owners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks adjacent to their property. This includes ensuring that snow, ice and debris do not pose a hazard to pedestrians - it also means that property owners must repair cracks and other sidewalk damage. If your sidewalk is in need of repair, apply for a construction use permit to complete the work.

Pavement Restoration

Property owners getting a new utility service connection may need to arrange for pavement restoration unless the private utility provides that service. Pavement restoration in the right of way requires a Street Use permit and it’s the customer’s responsibility to ensure one is obtained prior to pavement restoration work. See Client Assistance Memo 2601 to learn more. If you are a contractor interested in registering as a pavement registration contractor, Client Assistance Memo 2602 describes the required steps.

Simple Utility Permits

Utility permits are issued for the installation of underground and overhead utility mains and services in the public right of way. They include power, communication, gas, steam, water, sewer, drainage, and privately owned facilities such as oil pipelines. Also included are permits issued to other governmental entities such as the Port of Seattle, King County and the State of Washington.

Utility Permit Publications

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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