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Public Works

2021 Spring Contractor Meeting 
Due to COVID-19, the City of Cedar Rapids will not be holding a regular spring in-person meeting for local contractors. Visit THIS PAGE for information updates. 

Right of Way Permits & Working in the Right of Way

Due to Covid-19 the Public Works Right-of-Way department at 500 15th Ave SW is currently closed to in-person visits. Applications for permits can be submitted electronically, mailed or delivered to the drop box. To submit a permit application please email your application and all site plans to: rightofwaypermit@cedar-rapids.org; Mail to or place in the drop box at 500 15th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

What is the Right-of-Way?

The public right-of-way (ROW) is land that is owned by the City, but maintained by the property owner. It includes City streets and alleys and the grassy portion of land between the curb and property line. The right-of-way is reserved for traffic signs, utilities, street lights, sidewalks, and snow storage.

Right-of-Way Permits
A permit is required for either obstructing right-of-way or working in the right-of-way (see below). Applications are typically reviewed and permits issued within 3 business days if no revisions are required. The issued permit must be present at the site. Failure to produce permit will result in immediate stop work action.

Working in the Right-of-Way
Submit this permit before working in the ROW: Application - Working in the ROW
For street tree planting and permit: Replanting in the ROW

A permit is required before working in the public right-of-way (construction, digging, or boring). Beginning work without an approved permit will result in a penalty of double the permit fee.

Examples of common projects that require a permit include:

  • Driveway improvements or sidewalk repairs
  • Installation of mailbox posts
  • Utility work, such as connecting sump hoses to storm sewer lines
  • Street tree planting (find the permit application and learn more here)
  • *When emergency excavation is necessary, a permit application shall be submitted no later than the next business day of when the work was performed

During Construction: Contractors and property owners must follow SUDAS – the Statewide Urban Design Specifications, and Supplemental Specifications. Find details: cedar-rapids.org/doingbusiness

Contractors: A contractor performing work in the right-of-way will be required to have a valid bond and approved for working in the City of Cedar Rapids (Section 9 Cedar Rapids Municipal Code).

Property Owners: Property owners completing work in the right-of-way must provide proof of homeowner’s insurance by providing a copy of the policy’s declaration page (Section 9 Cedar Rapids Municipal Code).

Obstructing the Right-of-Way
Submit this permit before obstructing the ROW: Application - Obstructing the ROW

If your activity involves blocking or impeding foot or vehicle traffic in the right-of-way, you are required to obtain a Right-of-Way Obstruction Permit.

Examples of common tasks that require an obstruction permit include:

  • Dumpsters in right-of-way
  • POD (portable on demand storage) in the right-of-way

Permit Fees

  • $50 permit fee per standard project or street occupancy
  • $20 permit fee for minor excavation project
  • $75 fee for removing or cutting City pavement
  • $50 per 1,300 lineal feet of fiber option cable installation 
  • Permit fees for planting trees in the public right-of-way have been waived to support replanting efforts following the derecho. Learn More.


Additional Right-of-Way Policies


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