Excavation Permit Requirements

An excavation and trench permit is required if you are excavating or trenching on private property or a public right-of way in the City of Cambridge. See links at bottom of page for permit applications.

Permit requirements:
1. Submit a completed permit application that includes: 
    a) Contractor’s name, address and phone number 
    b) Contact person 
    c) Emergency phone number (24 hour access) 
    d) If applicant is a sub-contractor, name of primary contactor 
    e) Name of excavator, phone number and address (if different from applicant) 
    f) Name of owner of property, phone number and address (if different from applicant) 
    g) Requested start and end dates 
    h) Dig Safe number 
    i) Purpose of excavation 
    j) Specific location of trench 
    k) Type of work being completed: conduit, storm drain, sewer, utility work, trench 
    l) Water Department permit number (if applicable) 
    m) Excavation dimensions 
    n) Name of competent person (as defined by 520 CMR 7.02), Massachusetts hoisting license number, license grade and expiration date of license 
    o) Applicant, excavator and owner’s signatures are required on permit application

Note: Additional requirements such as curb cut approvals, dewatering approvals, temporary construction access permits and conduit and utility pole approvals may be required before permit application can be reviewed. A Utility Permit is required for any electrical and communications work done in the City of Cambridge, that application must be submitted to the Cambridge Electrical Department.

2. Submit a detailed traffic management plan that demonstrates the following: 
    a) How the contractor plans to direct vehicle and pedestrian traffic safely around the work area 
    b) Demonstrates the use of traffic controls and signs that follow MUTCD specifications 
    c) Reflects the unique location of the specific work area that is listed on the permit application 
    d) Takes into account pedestrian traffic, vehicle traffic, cyclists, bus stops, handicap parking, loading zones and reflects ADA/ABB requirements.

References: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2003r1r2/pdf_index.htm

3. Pay permit fees at time of application. Additional fees including street preservation offset fees (SPOF) and sewer inspection fees may apply.
4. The contractor must have a valid $5000.00 surety bond on file at the DPW.
5. The contractor must have on file at the DPW a certificate of insurance that names the City of Cambridge as additionally insured in an amount not less than $1,000,000.00 per occurrence and $3,000,000.00 in aggregate for personal injuries or property damage.

Permits will not be reviewed until the above requirements are met.

Please note: Permit hours are from Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm. Work outside these hours, including weekend work, requires special permission. If permission is granted, the contractor will be required to pay overtime costs for inspections.























DOWNLOAD PERMIT (PDF)                    or                    APPLY ONLINE

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Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139


Hours of Service

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