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SDOT Street Use Franchise and Utility Permits

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 youre 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:

Street Restoration
About the Franchise and Utility Permit Section
Utility Records
Utility Permit Publications

Refer to our frequently asked questions for more information on utility permits.

Street Restoration

More than 4,000 openings are made in Seattle's streets every year, for example to connect or repair water, sewer, gas or other underground utilities. An approvedStreet Use permit is required prior to working in the right-of-way. The permit requires that the right of way be restored in accordance with City of Seattle Standard Plans and Specifications, and in accordance with the Right-of-Way Opening and Restoration Rule SDOT Rule 2017-01 (ROWORR). The permit-holder is responsible for the performance of the pavement restoration for the life of the pavement.

If you are getting a new utility service connection, you may need to arrange for pavement restoration. See Client Assistance Memo 2601 to learn more. There are approved paving restoration vendors in the area registered with the Seattle Department of Transportation.  See the current list below. This list does not represent City of Seattle endorsement, rather it is meant to assist those new to the process.  In addition, you may also use a contractor from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections Registered Side Sewer Contractor list.

If you are a contractor interested in registering as a pavement registration contractor, see Client Assistance Memo 2602 to learn more.

Street Use Utility Permits

Street Use issues permits to individuals, corporations or associations to construct, maintain and operate railroad or streetcar tracks; pipes; ducts; utility tunnels; vaults; maintenance holes; poles; fixtures; wires; or any other appurtenances on, under or over streets, alleys or public places in Seattle. These installations include in part: gas mains and services; electrical manholes and conduits; telecommunication manholes and conduits; steam mains and services; water mains and services; utility poles; underground fuel storage tanks; and aerial CATV and telecommunications cables.

The applicant must submit an application and plan detailing the proposed utility to Street Use. The application and plan will be reviewed and any corrections noted before a permit will be issued.

Utility Permit Publications

Utility Permit Application

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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