public works department

Excavation and Trench Permit Application


An Excavation and Trench Permit is required if you are excavating or trenching on private property or in a public right-of-way in the City of Cambridge.  Please be sure to understand and meet all of the permit requirements, including the A-Tag Marker program before starting the application process as permits will not be issued until all requirements are met.  A Utility Permit application must be submitted to the Cambridge Electrical Department for any electrical or communications work being done in the City of Cambridge.

NEW  The Public Works Department now offers the purchase of permits online.  View online permit application instructions for complete details.   Please note that PIN numbers are required for contractors (see instructions). 

NOTICE  Methods of Payment include
: Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit cards, Visa or MasterCard debit cards or electronic check (E-check).  A convenience fee will be charged for each purchase:  2.5% for Visa, MasterCard or Discover and a $2.00 flat fee for payments made by E-check.  Learn more about online payments and convenience fees. You will be taken to a secure, third party payment processor, Velocity Payment Systems, to submit payment online.

You can still download a paper application (pdf) and return it to the Public Works office at 147 Hampshire Street.  If you have any questions, please call the Permit Administrator at 617.349.4833 or email


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Visiting City Hall

Cambridge City Hall

795 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge MA, 02139
Ph: 617-349-4000
TTY: 617-349-4242

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Richard C. Rossi
City Manager

Lisa C. Peterson
Deputy City Manager