Construction Use in the Right-of-Way

Permit Counter Temporary Closures

To protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, we closed our public-facing customer service counters on Monday, March 16. Our counters remain closed until further notice. This includes both the Street Use and the Traffic and Parking permit counters at the Seattle Municipal Tower on floors 23 and 37. We are still processing permit applications. Please read the instructions below on how to apply for a permit.

For construction use in the right-of-way and street improvement permits, please e-mail your completed application to

For major utility permits, please e-mail your completed application to and be sure to use the subject line: Permit#_ProjAddress – UMP New Application / Modification Application

For all other permits, please apply online through the Seattle Services Portal.

Our staff will be available to provide application coaching and assist with issuing permits by phone. Click here for information on how to pay permit fees.

Status Inquiries

On November 7, 2020, we'll be migrating to our new permitting platform Accela. In order to achieve a smooth transition, our teams will be taking part in extensive training in the new system throughout the remainder of September and October.

During this time, we'll still be processing permits, but we'll be operating at reduced capacity. Since our primary concern is processing permits in a timely fashion, we will be unable to respond to status inquiries during this time if the application is within the published issuance timeframe posted on our permit webpages. We appreciate your patience during this transition.  

Estimated Permit Timelines for Street Use Permits

As of October 1, 2020, review times are currently:

For All Permit Types

  • Application timeline: 8 business days

ROWM Permit Timelines (including application time)

  • Initial Full review: 10-12 weeks
  • Single review: 3 weeks
  • Extensions: 3 weeks

Street Improvement Permit Timelines (including application time)

  • Initial Full review: 8-10 weeks
  • Corrections review: approx. 8 weeks

Utility Major Permit Timelines (including application time)

  • Initial Full review: 6-8 weeks
  • Corrections review: 4-6 weeks

PSM Permit Timelines (including application time)

  • Simple review: 10 days
  • Full Review: 2-3 weeks

These are average timelines. Owing to an increase in permit applications combined with reduced capacity, our timelines are higher than normal. We are working diligently to reduce these timelines in advance of our transition to Accela in November. 

 NOTE: If a ROW Management Design Guidance meeting is required (see CAM 2109 for details) or correction cycles are necessary, additional time will be added to the timelines above.

We teamed up with Rooted in Rights to create a video to educate contractors and other people working in the right-of-way on the importance of maintaining a safe space for people to travel through construction sites. These tips aren't only useful for wheelchair users, they make sites safer for everyone! 

You can learn more about how to set up safe access through a construction site in How to Plan, Document, and Implement Pedestrian Mobility In and Around Work Zones (CAM 2110)

Permitting for Stay Healthy Streets

We've recently published a fact sheet outlining the additional conditions related to construction use and utility permitting on Stay Healthy Streets.

What permit(s) do I need for construction-related work in the right of way?

constructionConstruction Use permits are required when the right-of-way will be used for activities associated with development on private or public property.

Simple Construction Use

Simple Construction Use permits are issued for:

Complex Construction Use

Complex Construction Use permits are required when performing construction activities that impact public access to the right-of-way, such as:

  • Material, vehicle, and/or equipment staging
  • Crane use, installation, or removal
  • Installation of temporary structures such as scaffolding
  • Shoring installation
  • Swing stage activities

Specific types of work in the right of way permitted under a Construction Use permit include

  • Crossing the curb with construction equipment
  • Staging/storing or construction equipment or materials
  • Staging a construction dumpster
  • Installation of rocked or spalled construction-site entrances
  • Use of mobile or hydraulic equipment
  • Installation of scaffolding, swing stages, or conex boxes
  • Crane installation and staging
  • Shoring installation
  • Driveway installation
  • Paving
  • Landscaping
  • Installation of encroachments such as fences, walls, signs, street furniture, and parklets. For these uses, please begin with the Public Space Management permit page (linked above) to learn more. 

Please see CAM 2109 for more information on permitting requirements for Construction Use permits.

Apply for a Construction Use permit

Use the button on the right to download the Combined Application. 

Please note, submission of this permit application is not the only step required to obtain a Construction Use permit. Please see CAM 2109 for more information on permitting requirements for Construction Use permits.

For annual vehicle permits, please check out the updated process to Apply for an Annual Vehicle Permit.

The following documents are always required prior to issuance of Construction Use permits: 

Additional documents that may also be required prior to permit issuance include:

Your completed permit application package may be emailed to, or submitted in person at the Street Use permit counter.

For your reference, we have also provided the following short list of materials that may help you plan and implement your project:

Project Notification

Project notifications are required for permitted work in the right-of-way that impede a mode of travel (e.g. pedestrian, bicycle, or vehicular closure). Notification requirements vary by project type and duration. Please see CAM 2117: Notification Requirements for Street Use Permittees.

For all permit types, the project notification must include the information listed in this template and in the "Project Notification Template Standards" listed in CAM 2117.

If your project will be longer than six months in duration, you will need to post and maintain an on-site project notice at each closure location visible to the public.

For crosswalk closures exceeding two weeks in duration, a crosswalk closure notice must be posted to, and maintained on, each crosswalk-closure barricade.

Modify a Construction Use permit

If you are interested in modifying your current Construction Use permit, please download our Combined Application using the button on the right.

SDOT's Project & Construction Coordination Office (PCCO) is charged with coordinating projects planned for the right of way to save money, protect public assets, and reduce construction-related impacts.

As part of this effort, the PCCO manages the dotMaps application and SDOT Project and Construction Coordination Map, an interactive tool displaying current and future construction projects in the right of way, as well as other events that may impact traffic. Please note: all agencies performing work in the right of way that is planned at least 6 months ahead (SMC 15.32.050) must enter their project information into dotMaps. For more information on how to enter project data, please visit our Project and Construction Coordination Map page.

Within the PCCO, the Access Seattle workgroup manages the Construction Hub program, which coordinates the scopes and schedules of projects in areas of Seattle experiencing particularly high levels of construction projects operating in close proximity to one another - these areas are known as Hubs.  

If your project falls within one of the designated construction hubs, listed on our Construction Hub page, you are required to coordinate with the appropriate Hub inspector throughout the duration of your project. If you have questions about Hub coordination and reporting requirements, please contact Access Seattle Construction Hub Supervisor Johanna Landherr at or 206- 684-4574.

Learn more about the Project and Construction Coordination Office. You may also contact the PCCO program manager, Heather Marx, at or 206-615-0801.

For larger projects, or unusually impactful smaller ones, a construction management plan (CMP) may be required. A CMP is a document that outlines plans for project elements such as notification, noise mitigation, vehicle and material movement, and general right- of-way use. In short, a CMP clarifies how you plan to manage the impacts of demolition and construction activity on the public over the course of your project.

When is a CMP required?

A CMP is required when the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI) determines that State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) thresholds have been triggered, or when one is required as a mitigation measure as part of a master-use permit (MUP). 

A complete CMP will answer questions such as: 

  • How much material will be transported by truck and what route will the driver take to and from the project site? 
  • How will heavy equipment get to your project site? 
  • If you plan to use a crane, how will it impact the public right of way? 
  • What hours does your construction team plan to work? 
  • Will excessive noise impact adjacent buildings?

When required, CMPs and haul-route plans should be submitted to the Seattle Department of Transportation Street Use Division via as soon as there is enough information to determine how the project will be built - ideally between three and six months prior to the start of construction. 

Note: Submission of any required CMP must take place before the SDCI will issue excavation/shoring or construction permits, and prior to submission of your SDOT Street Use permit application.

If a CMP is required for your project, you may find the following tools helpful: 

In order to preserve city assets and reduce disruption to the traveling public, resurfaced or reconstructed roadways are not be cut into for a period of at least five years  (SMC 15.32.050). If your project requires the disturbing of a moratorium street and you wish to seek an exception to this requirement, you will need to submit a Pavement Moratorium Waiver Request Form to SDOT for review. 

More details about right of way pavement and restoration requirements can be found in the Right-of-Way Opening and Restoration Rule.

Contractors interested in becoming a registered to conduct pavement restoration in the city of Seattle can learn more about the process by downloading client assistance memo (CAM) 2602

Apply to become a registered pavement restoration contractor.

When emergency work impacting the right of way is necessary for health or safety reasons that could not be anticipated, a permit is still required. An application for a permit must be submitted either on the same day, or the next business day after the emergency work has begun.  

When emergency work occurs in the public right of way:  

  1. Respond to the emergency
  2. Notify SDOT:

    During work hours:
    Street Use Division at 206-684-5283 OR

    During non-work hours:
    SDOT Charles Street Shop at 206-386-1218
  3. Submit a permit application to Street Use on the same day or by the end of the next business day after the work has begun

Once the initial emergency work has been completed, contact the appropriate Street Use inspector to determine what, if any, follow-up actions need to take place:

  • If the work is entirely complete and the site has been restored, no other action or information is required 
  • If the work is still underway, and the work is expected to take more than five (5) days to complete, a traffic-control plan (TCP) and any other documents requested by the inspector must be submitted to Street Use. Work may continue if the traffic-control setup is safe and the work can be completed in a safe and timely manner.