Knowledgebase-Street Excavation Ordinance

Information Product

Title:Street Excavation Ordinance
Summary:An ordinance providing for street cut permits, standards and procedures for the City of Iron City, Tennessee.
Original Author:Darden, Ron
Product Create Date:12/09/2008
Last Reviewed on::01/07/2009
Subject:Streets--Cuts and excavation; Municipal ordinances
Original Document: Street Excavation Ordinance.pdf

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: Ordinance No._____

An Ordinance Providing for Street Cut Permits, Standards and Procedures
Be It Ordained by the City of Iron City, Tennessee:

Section 1. Title 16 of the Municipal Code is amended by adding a new Chapter 2:
Chapter 2

16-201. Short title.
16-202. Definitions.
16-203. Excavation permit.
16-204. Application.
16-205. Excavation permit fees.
16-206. Excavation placard.
16-207. Surety bond.
16-208. Minimum standards and requirements for permits, cuts, bores, and

16-211. Routing of traffic.
16-212. Clearance for fire equipment.
16-213. Protection of traffic.
16-214. Removal and protection of utilities.
16-115. Sidewalk excavations.
16-216. Protective measures.
16-217. Care of excavated material.
16-218. Damage to existing improvements.
16-219. Property lines and easements.
16-220. Clean-up.
16-221. Protection of water courses.
16-222. Breaking through pavement.
16-223. Plans and specifications for excavations.
16-224. Restoration of surface.
16-225. City's right to restore surface.
16-226. Trenches in pipe laying.
16-227. Prompt completion of work.
16-228. Emergency action.
16-229. Noise, dust and debris.
16-230. Excavations barred in new street improvements.
16-231. Preservation of monuments.
16-232. Inspections.
16-233. Maintain drawings.
16-234. Chapter not applicable to city work.
16-235. Public service companies.
16-236. Insurance.

16-201. Short title . This chapter is
the "Street Excavation Ordinance of the City of Iron City, Tennessee."

16-202. Definitions . For the purposes of this chapter, the following
terms, phrases, words, and their derivations have the meanings given
herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense
include the future, words in the plural number include the singular number, and
words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is
always mandatory and not merely directory.
(1) "Applicant" is any person making written application to the city
manager for an excavation permit hereunder.
(2) "City" is the City of Iron City, Tennessee.
(3) "City Commission" or "Commission" is the City Commission of the
City of Iron City, Tennessee.
(4) "City Manager" is the City Manager of the City of Iron City,
(5) "Excavation work" is the excavation and other work permitted
under an excavation permit and required to be performed under this chapter.
(6) "Permittee" is any person who has been granted and has in full
force and effect an excavation permit issued hereunder.
(7) "Person" is any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation,
company or organization of any kind.
(8) "Street" is any street, highway, sidewalk, alley, avenue, or other
public way or public ground in the city.

16-203. Excavation permit . It is unlawful for any person to dig
up, break, excavate, tunnel, undermine or in any manner break up any street
or to make or cause to be made any excavation in or under the surface of any
street for any purpose or to place, deposit or leave upon any street any earth or
other excavated material obstructing or tending to interfere with the free use of
the street, unless the person has obtained an excavation permit from the City Manager.

16-204. Application . No excavation permit may be issued unless a
written application for the issuance of an excavation permit is submitted to the
city. The written application shall state the name and address of the applicant,
the nature, location and purpose of the excavation, the date of commencement
and date of completion of the excavation, and other data reasonably required by the City Manager to allow the City Manager, or his
designee, to evaluate the scope of the work. The application shall be
accompanied by plans showing the extent of the proposed excavation work and other information prescribed by the city.
The application form shall contain a contractual undertaking and
guaranty on the part of the applicant and, the permittee, if the permittee is
different from the applicant, that the applicant and the permittee will comply
with all the terms and provisions of this chapter and all other conditions
imposed by the city with respect to the permit. The application shall further
contain a contractual undertaking and guaranty on the part of the applicant and
permittee, if different from the applicant, that if either
does not comply with the terms, provisions and conditions set forth, the
applicant and/or permittee will be financially liable to the city for the cost of
all repairs and/or corrections made by the city and/or by its subcontractors and
for all damages incurred by the city occasioned by the failure to comply. The
application shall also provide that the applicant must guarantee the integrity
of the work performed for a period of two years from the date upon which the
refilled excavation is accepted by the City Manager or his designee.

16-205. Excavation permit fees . A permit fee of seventy-five dollars
($75.00) shall be charged by the city for the issuance of an excavation permit,
which is in addition to all other fees for permits or charges relative to any
proposed construction work.

16-206. Excavation placard . The City Manager shall provide each
permittee at the time a permit is issued a suitable placard plainly
written or printed in English letters at least one inch high with the following
notice: "City of Iron City, Tennessee, Permit No. ________ Expires _______" with these blanks filled in. Any permittee must keep the placard posted in a
conspicuous place at the site of the excavation work. It is unlawful for any
person to exhibit a placard at or about any excavation not covered by a
permit, or to misrepresent the number of the permit or the date of expiration of
the permit.

16-207. Surety or cash bond . Before an excavation permit
is issued, the applicant must deposit with the city clerk a surety bond payable
to the city, or a cash bond, in an amount specified by the city, not
less than $1,000.00 for any permit, or other good and sufficient surety acceptable
to the City Manager, such as a letter of credit from a local bank. The required
surety bond must be:
(1) With good and sufficient surety.
(2) Satisfactory to the city attorney and to the City Manager in form,
substance, amount, and as to the identity and qualifications of the corporate
(3) Conditioned upon the permittee's compliance with this chapter and
any other terms or conditions required by the city in any particular permit, and ensuring the proper restoration of the ground and the laying of pavement, if any. A permittee may give a continuing bond.

16-208. Minimum standards and requirements for permits, cuts,
bores, and backfills . The following apply with respect to all excavation
permits and work by permittees under this chapter:

(3) Each excavation permit issued shall require that no work may proceed
unless the city's inspector is on the site at the time of the cut, bore, back fill and
work unless emergency conditions exist and the city's inspector is not available.
(4) Each excavation permit shall require that the work be completed
within the time period provided thereon and, in any event, within sixty days
after its issuance unless express written provisions for a
different time period are made on the excavation permit.
(5) Each permittee is responsible for scheduling all work with the city's
inspector, at least 24 hours prior to commencement of operations.
(6) The street and/or sidewalk surface shall be clean cut in a straight
line prior to excavation. The cut portion of the surface of the street and/or
sidewalk shall be cut back at least an additional 12 inches on each side beyond
the sides of the actual opening necessary to perform the work.
(7) Each excavation in the roadway shall be filled with gravel of a type
and specification required by the city. Excavated materials shall not be
allowed as backfill.
(8) On all streets where a permanent pavement has been built, a
temporary surface of premixed bituminous materials shall be used until the
permanent bituminous material has been applied.
(9) The backfill shall be placed in 9 inch lifts and compacted by power
tampers of a type approved by the City Manager or his designee with a minimum
energy of 250 ft./lb. per square foot of tampers.
(10) Backfilling a trench and compacting with a backhoe or truck is not
acceptable and will not be allowed.
(11) Any settlement of the surface within a two year period
following the completion of the work shall be deemed conclusive evidence of
defective backfilling by the permittee.
(12) The person or contractor doing the actual excavation must meet all OSHA safety requirements including those regarding depth
of trench and shoring.
(13) All open trenches shall be barricaded with adequate warning
lanterns lighted by sunset. All open trenches within the roadway, or in a
sidewalk, shall be filled at the end of each work day or
other safety precautions taken as approved by public works director.
(14) All traffic control and obstructions must be coordinated with the
City Manager or his designee and conducted in accordance with section 16-211,
Routing of Traffic, and section 16-213, Protection of Traffic.
(15) The permittee shall cooperate in the making of inspections of the
performance of the work by the City Manager or his designee. The permittee
shall notify the city so that the inspection can be made before any backfilling is
done. The permittee shall also notify the city of the work so a final
inspection can be made to determine whether or not the work has been done in
a manner required by this chapter and as is acceptable to the city.

(16) Proper performance of the work must include the repair or
replacement of any public or privately owned property incidentially damaged in
the course of the work.
(17) The City Manager may require new utility installations in existing streets be installed through bored excavations instead of open cut trenches where multiple installations are planned or where new pavement has been placed.

16-211. Routing of traffic . The permittee shall take appropriate
measures to assure that during the performance of the excavation work traffic
conditions as nearly normal as practicable are maintained at all times. The
work shall be performed so as to cause as little inconvenience as possible to the
occupants of the abutting property and to the general public. The City Manager
may permit the closing of streets to all traffic for a period of time prescribed by
him if in his opinion it is necessary. Where flaggers are deemed necessary by
the City Manager they shall be furnished by the permittee at his own expense.
Through traffic shall be maintained without the aid of detours, if possible. In
instances in which this would not be feasible the City Manager will designate
detours. The city shall maintain roadway surfaces of existing highways
designated as detours without expense to the permittee but in case there are no
existing highways the permittee shall construct all detours at its expense and
in conformity with the specifications of the City Manager. The permittee will be
responsible for any unnecessary damage caused to any highways by the
operation of its equipment.

16-212. Clearance for fire equipment . The excavation work shall be
performed and conducted so as not to interfere with access to fire stations and
fire hydrants. Materials or obstructions shall not be placed within fifteen (15)
feet of fire plugs. Passageways leading to fire escapes or fire-fighting equipment
shall be kept free of piles of material or other obstructions.

16-213. Protection of traffic . The permittee shall erect and maintain
suitable timber barriers to confine earth from trenches or other excavations in
order to encroach upon highways as little as possible. The permittee shall
construct and maintain adequate and safe crossings over excavations and across
highways under improvement to accommodate vehicular and pedestrian traffic
at all street intersections. All barricades and crossings shall be constructed
subject to the approval of the city.

16-214. Removal and protection of utilities . The permittee shall not
interfere with any existing utility without the written consent of the city
manager and the utility company or person owning the utility. If it becomes
necessary to remove an existing utility this shall be done by its owner. No
utility owned by the city shall be moved to accommodate the permittee unless
the cost of the work is borne by the permittee. The cost of moving privately
owned utilities shall be similarly borne by the permittee unless it makes other
arrangements with the person owning the utility. The permittee shall support
and protect by timber or otherwise all pipes, conduits, poles, wires or other
apparatus that may be in any way affected by the excavation work, and shall
do everything necessary to support, sustain and protect them under, over, along
or across the work. In case any of the pipes, conduits, poles, wires or
apparatus are damaged, they must be repaired by the agency or person
owning them and the expense of the repairs shall be charged to the permittee, The permittee is responsible
for any damage done to any public or private property by reason of the breaking
of any water pipes, sewer, gas pipe, electric conduit or other utility and its. The permittee shall inform itself of the existence and
location of all underground utilities and protect them against damage.

16-215. Sidewalk excavations . Any excavation made in any sidewalk
or under a sidewalk shall be provided with a substantial and adequate
footbridge, over the excavation on the line of the sidewalk, which is
subject to the approval of the city.

16-216. Protective measures . The permittee shall erect a fence,
railing, or barrier about the site of the excavation work to prevent danger
to persons using the city streets or sidewalks, and the barrier shall
be maintained until the work is completed or the danger removed. At
twilight suitable and
sufficient lights shall be placed on or about the excavation and kept burning throughout each night until the work is finished. It is unlawful for anyone to remove or
tear down the fence or railing or other protective barriers or any lights provided
there for the protection of the public.

16-217. Care of excavated material . All material excavated from
trenches and piled adjacent to the trench or in any street shall be piled and
maintained in a manner not to endanger those working in the trench,
pedestrians, or users of the street, and so that as little inconvenience as possible
is caused to those using the street and adjoining property.

16-218. Damage to existing improvements . All damage done to
existing improvements during the progress of the excavation work shall be
repaired by the permittee. Materials for the repair shall conform with the
requirements of any applicable code or ordinance. If, upon being ordered, the
permittee fails to furnish the necessary labor and materials for the repairs, the
City Manager may cause the necessary labor and
materials to be furnished by the city and the cost charged against the

16-219. Property lines and easements . Property lines and limits of
easements shall be indicated on the plan of excavation submitted with the
application for the excavation permit and the permittee must
confine excavation work within easement limits.

16-220. Clean-up . As the excavation work progresses all streets and
private properties shall be thoroughly cleaned of all rubbish, excess earth, rock
and other debris resulting from the work. All clean-up operations at the
location of the excavation shall be done at the expense of the permittee
and to the satisfaction of the City Manager. From time to
time as may be ordered by the City Manager and in any event immediately after
completion of the work, the permittee shall at his or its own expense clean up
and remove all refuse and unused materials of any kind resulting from the
work. Upon the failure of the permittee to clean up within twenty-four (24)
hours after having been notified to do so by the City Manager, the work may be
done by the City Manager. The cost shall be charged to the permittee.

16-221. Protection of water courses . The permittee shall provide for
the flow of all water courses, sewers or drains intercepted during the excavation
work and shall replace them in as good condition as it found them or
make such provisions for them as the City Manager may direct. The permittee
stall not unreasonably obstruct the gutter of any street. He shall use all proper
measures to provide for the free passage of surface water. The permittee shall
make provision to take care of all surplus water, muck, silt, slickings or other
run-off pumped from excavations or resulting from sluicing or other operations
and shall be responsible for any damage resulting from a failure to so provide.

16-222. Breaking through pavement . Whenever it is necessary to
break through existing pavement for excavation purposes and where trenches
are to be four (4) feet or over in depth, the pavement in the base shall be
removed to at least six (6) inches beyond the outer limits of the sub-grade that
is to be disturbed in order to prevent settlement, and a six (6) inch shoulder of
undisturbed material shall be provided in each side of the excavated trench.
The face of the remaining pavement shall be approximately vertical. Asphalt
paving shall be scored or otherwise cut in a straight line. No pile driver may be
used in breaking up the pavement.

16-223. Plans and specifications for excavations . No excavation
shall be made in any street or sidewalk until the permit required by 16-203
above has been issued. Any person, firm or corporation making an
excavation without having obtained a permit is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(1) The excavation shall be made strictly in accordance with the plans
and sight specifications as set out in engineering drawings. A copy of the drawings
must be kept on file at the city hall.
(2) Duration of excavation. No person shall permit an excavation to
continue for more than twenty-four (24) hours after its initial opening unless
specific written authorization is obtained from the City Manager or other official
because of unusual circumstances. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor.

16-224. Restoration of surface . The permittee shall restore the
surface of any street broken into or damaged, as a result of the excavation work,
to its original condition in accordance with the specifications of the city. The
permittee may be required to place a temporary surface over openings made in
paved traffic lanes. Except when the pavement is to be replaced before the
opening of the cut to traffic, the fill above the bottom of the paving slab shall be
made with suitable material well-tamped into place and this fill shall be topped
with a minimum of at least one inch of a bituminous mixture which is suitable
to maintain the opening in good condition until permanent restoration can be
made. The crown of the temporary restoration shall not exceed one inch above
the adjoining pavement. The permittee shall exercise special care in making
such temporary restorations and must maintain such restorations in safe
traveling condition until permanent restorations are made. The
asphalt that is used shall be in accordance with the specifications of the city.
If in the judgment of the City Manager it is not expedient to replace the
pavement over any cut or excavation made in the street upon completion of the
work allowed under the permit by reason of the looseness of the earth or
weather conditions he may direct the permittee to lay a temporary pavement of
metal or other suitable material designated by him over the cut or excavation
to remain until the repair of the original pavement is properly
Permanent restoration of the street shall be made by the permittee in
strict accordance with the specifications prescribed by the city to restore the
street to its original and proper condition, or as near as possible.
Acceptance or approval of any excavation work by the City Manager does
not prevent the city from asserting a claim against the permittee and his or its
surety for incomplete or defective
work if discovered within twenty-four (24) months from the completion of the
excavation work. The City Manager's presence during the performance of any
excavation work does not relieve the permittee of its responsibilities.

16-225. City's right to restore surface . If the permittee
fails to restore the surface of the street to its original and proper condition
upon the expiration of the time fixed by the permit or otherwise has
failed to complete the excavation work covered by the permit, the City Manager,
if he deems it advisable, may do all work and things necessary
to restore the street and to complete the excavation work. The permittee is
liable for the actual cost and an additional twenty-five per cent (25%) of the cost
for general overhead and administrative expenses. The city
may sue for all fees, expenses and amounts paid out and due it for
the work and shall apply in payment of the amount due it any funds the
permittee deposited and may also enforce its rights
under the permittee's surety bond.
The permittee must maintain the site of the excavation work in the same condition it was prior to the excavation for
two (2) years after restoring it to its original condition.

16-226. Trenches in pipe laying . Except by special permission from
the City Manager, no trench may be excavated more than 250 feet in advance
of pipe laying nor left unfilled more than 500 feet where pipe has been laid. The
length of the trench that may be opened at any one time may not be greater
than the length of pipe and the necessary accessories that are available at the
site ready to be put in place. Trenches shall be braced and sheathed according
to generally accepted safety standards for construction work as prescribed by the
City Manager. No timber bracing, lagging, sheathing or other lumber may be
left in any trench.

16-228. Emergency action . In the event of any emergency in which a
sewer, main, conduit or utility in or under any street breaks, bursts or otherwise immediately endangers the property, life, health or
safety of any individual, the person owning or controlling it shall immediately take proper emergency measures to
remedy the dangerous condition. However, the person owning or controlling
the facility shall apply for an excavation permit not later than the end of the
next day during which the City Manager's office is open for business,
and may not proceed with permanent repairs without first obtaining an
excavation permit.

16-229. Noise, dust and debris . Each permittee shall conduct and
carry out the excavation work in a way that avoids unnecessary
inconvenience and annoyance to the general public and occupants of neighboring
property. The permittee shall take appropriate measures to reduce noise, dust and
unsightly debris to the greatest extent practicable. During the hours of 10:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M. a permittee may not use,
except with the express written permission of the City Manager or in case of any
emergency, any tool, appliance or equipment
producing noise of sufficient volume to disturb the repose of occupants
of the neighboring property.

16-230. Excavations barred in new street improvements .
Whenever the City Commission enacts any ordinance or resolution providing for
the paving or repaving of any street, the City Manager shall promptly mail a
written notice to each person owning any sewer, main, conduit or other
utility in or on any real property whether improved or unimproved, abutting
the street. The notice shall state that no excavation permit
will be issued for openings, cuts or excavations in the street for a period of five
(5) years after the date of enactment of the ordinance or resolution. The
notice shall also state that applications for excavation permits for
work to be done prior to the paving or repaving must be submitted promptly
so work covered by the excavation permit may be completed not
later than forty-five (45) days from the date of enactment of the ordinance or
resolution. The City Manager shall also promptly mail copies of the notice to
the occupants of all houses, buildings and other structures abutting the street
for their information and to state agencies and city departments or other
persons that may desire to perform excavation work in the street.
Within the forty-five (45) days every public utility company receiving
notice shall perform any excavation work necessary to install or repair sewers,
mains, conduits or other utility installations. If any owner of real
property abutting the street fails within the forty-five (45) days to perform
the excavation work all rights of the owner or
his successors in interest to make openings, cuts or excavations in the street
are forfeited for a period of five (5) years from the date of enactment of the
ordinance or resolution. During this five (5) year period no excavation permit
may be issued unless in the judgment of
the City Manager an emergency exists that makes
it absolutely essential that the excavation permit be issued.
Every city department or official charged with responsibility for any work
that may necessitate any opening, cut or excavation in the street is directed to perform the work within the
forty-five (45) day period to avoid making any openings,
cuts or excavation in the new pavement for five years.

16-231. Preservation of monuments . The permittee may not disturb any surface monuments or hubs found on the line of excavation work until allowed to do so by the City Manager.

16-232. Inspections . The city shall make necessary inspections to enforce this chapter. The City Manager may promulgate and enforce rules necessary to carry out the intent of this chapter. Copies of all these rules shall be forwarded to all utilities with the effective date.

16-233. Maintain drawings . Users of sub-surface street space shall
maintain accurate drawings, plans, and profiles showing the location and
character of all underground structures including abandoned installations.
Corrected maps, satisfactory to the City Manager, shall be filed with the city
within six (6) months after new installations, changes or replacements are

16-234. Chapter not applicable to city work . Except as otherwise provided, this
chapter is not applicable to any excavation work done by or in behalf of the city.

16-236. Insurance . A permittee, prior to the commencement of
excavation work, shall furnish the City Manager satisfactory evidence
in writing that the permittee has in force and will maintain in force during the
performance of the excavation work and the period of the excavation permit
public liability insurance of not less than $100,000.00 for any one person and
$300,000.00 for any one accident and property damage insurance of not less
than $50,000.00 duly issued by an insurance company authorized to do business
in this state.

Section 2. Any violation of this ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable as provided in the general penalty clause of the code of ordinances.

Section 3. This Ordinance takes effect fifteen (15) days after first passage or upon final passage, whichever is later.

Approved 1st reading___________, January 2009
Approved 2nd reading___________, January 2009

________________________________ ______________________________________
Mayor Attest: City Recorder

Please remember that this ordinance was drafted based upon the drafting requirements and authority granted to a particular city or town in its charter and in general law. These drafting requirements and the authority exercised in this ordinance might not apply to your city or town.

Please confer with your city attorney or an MTAS legal consultant, or both, before using this ordinance as a model.