Right-of-Way Permits: Everything You Need to Know

Right-of-way permits allow developers, contractors, and project owners to use a public space for a specific purpose, such as performing construction work, building a sidewalk, or installing a utility line. To fully understand right-of-way permits, let’s dive into the specifics and go over everything you need to know.

The following are the who/what/where/when/why of the right of way permit:

  • Who: Right-of-way permits are issued by state agencies or the local government agency with legal jurisdiction over the property in question. The applicant of a right-of-way permit can be an individual, an enterprise, or an organization that seeks to use public property for a specific purpose.
  • What: The right-of-way permit details the specific terms and conditions of the use of the public property or right-of-way, including the scope of work, the duration of the permit, fees involved, or underlying requirements for insurance or bonding.
  • Where: Right-of-way permits are issued by local or state government agencies in the jurisdiction where the right-of-way or public property is located. For instance, if a public property is located in Maryland, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) administers the permit.
  • When: Right-of-way permits are required before any project is initiated on public property or public space. The timeline for obtaining the permit can vary depending on the authorizing jurisdiction or the project’s complexity.
  • Why: Right of way permit is required to ensure that the use of the public property is legal, safe, and doesn’t interfere with other public uses. The permitting process regulates the use of public property, protecting the public and preventing damage to public infrastructure (roads, pavements, rails, dams, or even bridges).

Differences between Maryland, Virginia, and D.C

Looking at the differences between Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., the requirements for the right-of-way permit can vary depending on these jurisdictions. It’s crucial to check with the appropriate authority or a professional permit expeditor like DFM Development Services to verify the permitting requirements and procedures.

Why Expedite a Right-of-Way Permit?

Expedited right-of-way permits may be necessary for situations that require projects to be completed quickly. This could be due to an emergency or a safety concern. It’s advisable to work closely with the appropriate local government agencies, such as the Department of Transportation or Public Works in expediting a right-of-way permit.

Some reasons you may want to expedite a right-of-way permit include:

1. Safety Concerns

A project may pose a safety concern that needs to be corrected as soon as possible. For instance, if a pedestrian bridge is damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced, it’s important to expedite the permit process to prevent accidents or loss of life.

2. Emergency Situations

Natural disasters such as earthquakes, flooding, and tornadoes may cause damage to public infrastructure or public property. Expedited right-of-way permits can facilitate the repair and restoration, allowing the affected community to recover more quickly.

3. Business Needs

Sometimes, a project may need speedy completion for business operations or for the economic development of a particular area. In such cases, an expedited right-of-way permit can ensure the project is completed within the set budget and timeline, allowing the business to operate more effectively and profitably.

4. Government Initiatives

Government agencies may have programs or initiatives that require a speedy expedition of project permits. For instance, a city may have a program to improve or repair a public transportation project, requiring the installation of bike lanes or new bus stops. Expedited permits can help ensure that the project is completed on time and within the set budget.

The expediting process can be critical in situations that require a project to be completed quickly and within a set timeframe. However, contractors and developers must follow the set procedures and guidelines when expediting right of way or public space permits.

How to Expedite a Right of Way Permit When Working with DFM Development Services?

Some steps to follow when working with a professional right-of-way expediter are:

  • Identify the scope of the project: Identify the project scope by collaborating with engineers, architects, and other professionals when developing a detailed plan.
  • Identify a reputable expedited: Work with a trusted professional expediter with a reputation for obtaining rights of way permits within a relevant jurisdiction.
  • Develop a timeline: Once you’ve identified a reputable and professional right-of-way expediter, cooperate with them to develop a timeline for the project. Identify a list of milestones for completing each stage of the permitting process.
  • Provide the necessary documentation: The expediter will collect and submit all the necessary documentation for expediting the right-of-way permit, including specifications, plans, and technical drawings. Also, provide any supporting materials promptly to facilitate a timely clearance.
  • Maintain regular communication: Communicate regularly with your permit expediter to ensure the project progresses as planned. The expediter should provide regular updates on the status of the permit application and any issues arising from the permit expediting process.

DFM Development Services — Right-of-Way Permit Expediting and More

Working with a professional expediter like DFM Development Services can streamline the right-of-way permit process and ensure your project is completed on time and within the stipulated budget. Our experts understand everything you need to know about right-of-way permits.

Contact us today for a smooth expediting of the right-of-way permit.

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About DFM

DFM Development Services is the leading Red Tape Consultancy in the DC Metro Region, specializing in navigating complex and time-consuming regulatory processes for Real Estate Development and AEC Industry Professionals.

From expediting complex building permits and the bond release process to ensuring environmental compliance and precise dry utility design, our tailor-made approach empowers you to confidently move forward with your project, knowing you’ve successfully met all compliance requirements.

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