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. 

The first step to applying for any permit is to register with a user name and password (top left hand corner).  Once in the system, make sure you understand and meet all of the permit requirements before starting the application process as permits will not be issued until all requirements are met including the A-Tag Marker program. 

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 application must be submitted to the Cambridge Electrical Department for any electrical or communications work being done in the City of Cambridge. 

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.

If you have any questions, please call the Permit Desk at 617.349.4833 or email publicworkspermits@cambridgema.gov

Use the link below to apply for permit:

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Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139


Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8:00pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5:00pm
Friday: 8:30am-12 noon
24 Hour emergency 617.349.4860


Tuesday & Thursday: 4:00pm-7:30pm
Saturday: 9:00am-4:00pm

Owen O'Riordan