Chapter 12.32


12.32.010    Permit – Required – Emergencies.

12.32.030    Permit – Issuance conditions and restrictions – Emergency defined.

12.32.040    Safety precautions and requirements.

12.32.050    Construction requirements generally.

12.32.060    Backfill specifications.

12.32.070    Weather conditions – Effect.

12.32.080    Pavement restoration work – Conditions of performance.

12.32.090    Pavement restoration work – Costs.

12.32.100    Pavement restoration work – Notice of completion required.

12.32.120    City engineer’s designate – Authority.

*    For statutory provisions authorizing second-class cities to provide for the opening, repairing, etc., of streets and sidewalks, see RCW 35.23.440(36); for provisions giving to code cities all of the powers of any city of any class, see RCW 35A.21.160.

12.32.010 Permit – Required – Emergencies.

It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, or any department of the city government to make a street opening of any description in public right-of-way without first having obtained a permit from the city engineer. In case of an emergency arising outside of office hours when an immediate excavation may be necessary for the protection of life or property, the same shall be reported to the city engineer or his designate who may grant oral permission to make the opening upon the understanding that a permit covering the opening must be obtained on the first following business day. (Prior code § 9.32.010).

12.32.030 Permit – Issuance conditions and restrictions – Emergency defined.

A. No permits will be issued to open streets which have been constructed or reconstructed within a period of five years immediately preceding the application for permit, nor to open streets which have been resurfaced within a period of three years immediately preceding the application for permit, except in cases of emergency to be determined by the city manager. As this subsection applies to utilities holding a franchise granted by the city for the use of the surface, subsurface or right-of-way of streets within the city, the term “emergency” shall be defined as a situation in which there is no reasonable alternative by way of other routing of lines or pipelines which would provide adequate service for the customers of such franchised utilities. The city manager shall, in conjunction with the city engineer and the applicant franchise utility, determine whether or not such reasonable alternative to opening a street exists in order to provide such service, and if it is found that no such reasonable alternative exists, then the permit shall be issued.

B. No opening shall be made until all necessary fittings and materials are available and on hand to complete all work.

C. No openings shall be made without twenty-four hours’ prior notice to the city engineer or his designate. Notice of at least forty-eight hours shall be given to all public utility companies whose facilities may be affected by the opening.

D. Street opening work shall be done in nonpeak hours in congested areas. The determination of a congested area shall be made by the city engineer with the concurrence of the chief of police.

E. In making excavations, the street surface material and earth removed from the trench shall be kept separate and deposited in a manner that will facilitate proper backfilling and in a manner that will cause the least inconvenience to traffic. No excavated material shall be placed in the stormwater drainage system including, but not limited to, gutters, drainage ditches, bioretention facilities, etc. The permittee shall clean up the location of each street opening within twenty-four hours after it is refilled. (Ord. 2017-45 § 19, 2017: Ord. 2015-17 § 1, 2015: prior code § 9.32.030).

12.32.040 Safety precautions and requirements.

A. No permittee shall make any opening in the streets of the city without maintaining safe crossing for vehicular traffic at all street intersections and safe crossing for pedestrians wherever designated by the city engineer.

B. No street shall be completely closed to traffic by reason of a street opening without the prior permission of the city engineer, provided that when an excavation cutting completely across a traveled roadway is to remain open for a period in excess of twelve hours, suitable plates, such as plates securely anchored to prevent their movement under traffic, shall be required to provide vehicular crossing over trenches.

C. The permittee shall place adequate barricades and warning signs and signals around the entire excavation, and advance warning signs must be placed on the approaches to the excavation, pursuant to applicable requirements of the statutes of the state of Washington and the current edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways adopted by the state of Washington.

D. All safety precautions must meet the applicable standards of the state of Washington. (Ord. 99-27 § 37, 1999: prior code § 9.32.040).

12.32.050 Construction requirements generally.

A. Tunneling will be allowed only upon advance written permission by the city engineer.

B. All sidewalk, curb and gutter must be removed and replaced in lieu of tunneling under such improvements, except that removal is not required if utility lines being installed can be driven under such improvements without tunneling, or if the tunnel is filled with controlled density fill as approved by the city engineer.

C. Before a street patch is made the permittee shall remove all pavement over the cut area and true the edges so that the marginal lines of the cut will form a rectangle with straight edges and vertical faces. The use of a concrete saw may be required under appropriate circumstances. (Ord. 99-27 § 38, 1999: prior code § 9.32.060(a)).

12.32.060 Backfill specifications.

A. No backfill of openings may commence until the city inspector for the work is present or until permission to begin backfill is given by the city engineer or his designate.

B. All backfill must be mechanically compacted in a maximum of two-foot lifts. Smaller lifts may be required where appropriate. Water settling of a trench is not permitted.

C. All material designated as unsuitable for backfill by the city utility inspector will be removed and replaced with material designated as suitable for backfill. (Ord. 99-27 § 39, 1999: prior code § 9.32.060(b)).

12.32.070 Weather conditions – Effect.

The city engineer may require the delay of excavations or the application of asphalt or other roadway materials until roadway, weather, and atmospheric conditions are satisfactory. (Ord. 99-27 § 40, 1999: prior code § 9.32.050).

12.32.080 Pavement restoration work – Conditions of performance.

The city engineer shall determine at the time of the application for the permit whether the permittee or the city shall perform the backfilling and/or pavement restoration work. Before performance of the pavement restoration work, the city engineer may cause a compaction test to be made of the backfill to determine compliance with the applicable specifications before such restoration work is performed. No pavement restoration shall take place until the compaction density of the backfill is approved by the city. Where low ground temperature or inclement weather precludes the application of a permanent surfacing material, as provided in Section 12.32.070, a temporary patch shall be applied; provided, that a compaction density test shall be made before the final patching of the surface is performed. (Prior code § 9.32.070).

12.32.090 Pavement restoration work – Costs.

The permittee shall pay, upon the completion of pavement restoration by the city, a fee covering actual expense to the city for inspection, supervision, costs of materials and equipment rental; provided, that the minimum fee so charged shall not be less than one hundred dollars. The cost of the restoration will be based on an estimated unit cost per square foot of surface area of the excavation. A statement itemizing all charges shall be rendered to the permittee upon the completion of the pavement restoration. (Ord. 99-27 § 41, 1999: Ord. A-3110 § 1, 1980: prior code § 9.32.080).

12.32.100 Pavement restoration work – Notice of completion required.

Immediately upon the completion of a pavement restoration by the permittee, the permittee shall give notice to the city engineer. (Prior code § 9.32.090).

12.32.120 City engineer’s designate – Authority.

The duties and responsibilities herein set forth for the city engineer may be performed by his duly appointed designate. (Prior code § 9.32.110).