Street Occupancy and Excavation Permits

Permitting Information


The City of Lowell requires contractors to obtain permits for street occupancy or excavation work performed within the City, whether public or private. Excavation (Trench) work on private property still requires a permit. Work shall not start until a permit has been approved.

Street Occupancy and Excavation (Trench) Permits impacting City Streets are issued only from April 1st to November 15th. Permits issued outside of this time frame are for Emergency work only unless approved by the City Engineer or Commissioner of Department of Public Works. Types of work requiring permits include:

  • Excavation in City ROW
  • Water, Sewer, Drainage, Gas, Electrical, Communication services
  • Street/Sidewalk closings (for construction, maintenance, festivals)

All trench excavation and restoration requirements shall conform to City and State trench regulations and standards. Application will being and end at the Office of the City Engineer. Additional City departments will require review and approval of permit applications and will be the responsibility of the applicant to obtain before returning to the City Engineer’s Office for final approval. 

Applying for a Street Occupancy and Excavation Permit


1.) Review City Permit Manual and City and State trench regulations and standards.

2.) Complete Street Occupancy and Excavation Permit Application (see application below) with required information. Physical copies of the permit application are also available in the City Engineer’s Office at City Hall. 

3.) Obtain current Bonds and Insurances from contractor. See checklist below for more information related to bond and insurance requirements.

4.) Provide a detailed sketch or plan set (drawn to scale) of the proposed work to be performed. Sketch must show:

  • Extents of occupied and or excavated area,
  • Nearby street names and addresses
  • Location, depth, length, size, and material of existing and proposed infrastructure
  • Existing sidewalk, driveways, curbing
  • Existing property line location,
  • Proposed backfill material and lift sizes
  • Traffic and pedestrian management plans, if applicable.
  • And other requirements depending on type of work being performed. Please contact City Engineer’s Office for questions on additional requirements. A sample sketch can be found below.

5.) Include non-refundable application fee as part of the permit application. See permit cost sheet for more info.6.) Submit completed Street Occupancy and Excavation Permit Application, bonds, insurances, and sketch to the City Engineer's Office.

a. Applications can be dropped off at City Engineer’s Office at City Hall or emailed to EngineersDept@lowellma.gov

b. Applications and application fees can be mailed in a sealed envelope addressed to the City Engineer's Office at the following address:

City Engineers

Lowell City Hall
  375 Merrimack Street
  3rd Floor, Room 61
  Lowell, MA 01852


7.) After initial review by Engineering Staff, applicant will be directed to obtain additional City Department review and approval of the permit application. It is the responsibility of the application to obtain signatures of approval from these department before returning to City Engineer’s Office for final approval.

8.) No work is allowed until final permit application has been approved by the City Engineer’s Office.

9.) The applicant will be notified if the permit is approved or denied. If approved, the owner/contractor is responsible for notifying the City Engineer’s Office twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the proposed work start date. It is the responsibility of the contractor to schedule Police Detail per City Regulations. 

10.)Permits will be good for 60 days. After 60 days, you will need to apply for, and pay for, another permit. 

In the event of an emergency, applications for Street Occupancy and Excavation may be submitted after completion of work. Additional restoration requirements will be assigned as part of the approved permit. It is the responsibility of the contractor to schedule Police Detail per City Regulations. 

City of Lowell Code of Ordinances: All City of Lowell Ordinances can be found on the City "ecode" website. A link to the ordinance website can be found below:

City of Lowell Code of Ordinances

or

ecode360.com/LO1990