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SDOT Street Use: Construction Use & Simple Utility 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.

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.

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