Frequently Asked Questions - Excavation “E” Permits

Revised on 06-19-2020

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Who can apply for and Excavation “E” Permit

The E-Permit is issued to entities with the authority to occupy the public right-of-way under a City or State Franchise Agreement, a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the State Public Utilities Commission, or some other legal authority. In general, U-Permits are issued to utility companies only.

How long is an Excavation “E” Permit good for?

An Excavation E Permit is good for six months. If the permittee has not started construction within the six months, the permit will expire.

When do I need an Excavation “E” permit?

Construction projects which will require public Right-of-Ways to be trenched or excavated must obtain a permit at the appropriate District Office. Electrolier and pull box relocations, monitoring wells, soil borings, potholes drilling in public Right-of-Ways also need to obtain an excavation permit. 

How long does it take to get an Excavation “E” Permit?

It depends on the complexity of the construction work, the size of excavation work, the ability of the Applicant to comply with City Standards, the quality of construction drawings, and the workload of City Staff. In general, the process takes 2 weeks to 3 months to complete.

When does an Excavation “E” expire?

6 months from the date of issuance unless construction has commenced.

How will the City determine if a project is being performed diligently?

The Bureau of Contract Administration (BCA) and the City Engineer will make periodic site visits to make this determination.

Does the City grant Excavation “E” Extensions?

No extensions of time for commencement of work beyond the 6-month period will be granted.

If my Excavation “E” expired, is a new application required?

Yes, a new application is required.

What is subject to the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF)?

The Street Damage Restoration Fee is applicable to any excavation work on asphalt concrete streets subject to a permit such as an A-Permit, B-Permit, Excavation E-Permit, Excavation U-Permit and Sewer S-Permit. The SDRF fee will not apply to the removal and replacement of curb, gutter, parkway, sidewalk and/or driveway. The District Office can be consulted for further clarification.

What is the new Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF)?

The SDRF is set at $8.24 per square foot for Local Streets and $19.44 per square foot (sq.ft.) for Select Streets, and applies to an area that equals the length and width of the excavation cut plus 5 feet on all sides of the excavation. The 5-foot extension area for a cut in asphalt is applicable even if it extends into gutter, curb, sidewalk and/or parkway, due to the fee assessment option adopted by City Council. Excavation cuts in the parkway that are within 5 feet of the street section will not pay an SDRF fee for the extended area.

Will the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) be applicable to Excavation E-Permits, Excavation U-Permits and Sewer S-Permits? 

Whenever an excavation is made in the street, SDRF will apply. This would be applicable to most excavations involving E-Permits and/or U-Permits. In S-Permits, this will be in situations where a sewer line is being installed without street work being done in the immediate vicinity and the SDRF fee will not apply to the removal and replacement of curb and gutter. The District Office can be consulted for further clarification.

When is the new Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) effective? 

The new SDRF became effective December 6, 2018.

What are the limits of the street to which Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) applies?

The SDRF applies to the limits of excavation cuts on an asphalt concrete street extending to the edges (typically at gutter edges).

What is a Select Street?

In terms of the new Street Damage Restoration Fee, a Select Street is a street designated by the Bureau of Street Services as a street requiring a thicker pavement design to accommodate greater traffic loads. The Bureau of Street Services shall maintain a public record of its street designations. This street designation is visible via NavigateLA’s Street Centerlines Report, listed under Class as SE.

What is a Local Street?

In terms of the new Street Damage Restoration Fee, a Local Street shall be a street not designated as a Select Street. The Bureau of Street Services shall maintain a public record of its street designations. This street designation is visible via NavigateLA’s Street Centerlines Report, listed under Class as LO.

Does the age of the street affect the new Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF)?

No, the new SDRF is not relative to the age of the street.

Does the new Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) apply to excavation work on a concrete street?

Full slab replacement is required in lieu of paying the SDRF for any excavation on a concrete street. A slab may be defined as the area of concrete surrounded by a joint (i.e. construction/expansion joint, etc.). In the event a concrete street does not consist of slabs but a large(r) concrete panel, the District Office can be consulted for further clarification.

Are there any exemptions from payment of the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF)?

Yes, there are two exemptions to the SDRF:

  1. Any excavation in a street scheduled for resurfacing under the City’s Annual Street Renewal Plan within the one year prior to the scheduled resurfacing is exempt from the SDRF.
  2. Exemption for excavation made up to 23 months prior to scheduled resurfacing may be granted after further consideration. The following must be provided at the time of request for consideration:
    1. Complete review of the City’s Five-Year Street Renewal Plan and one-year Annual Street Renewal Plan prepared by the Director of the Bureau of Street Services (BSS) prior to applying for an excavation permit
    2. Prepare and submit to the BSS a five-year street excavation plan and a one-year street excavation plan, in a form acceptable to the Bureau, prior to applying for an excavation permit. Such plans must include the following:
      1. The location of the applicant’s existing facilities in any City street, alley, sidewalk or other public place; and,
      2. A description of all of the applicant’s planned excavation work in any City street, alley, sidewalk or other public place.
    3. To continue to qualify for the SDRF exemption:
      1. Submit annually, by April 15 of each year following the submission of the initial five-year street excavation plan and one-year street excavation plan, a revised and updated five-year street excavation plan and one-year street excavation plan; and,
      2. All excavations in any Local Street or any Select Street must be shown on the applicant’s one-year street excavation plan, and must take place within 23 months prior to City’s planned resurfacing or rehabilitation projects as shown in the City’s Five-Year Street Renewal Plan and one-year Annual Street Renewal Plan.

Can I excavate anytime within one year following the resurfacing of the street? 

Yes. However, in lieu of paying the SDRF, permittee must repave the entire street block from curb face to curb face (typically referred to as the One-Year Street Moratorium).

Are there any exceptions to the One-Year Street Moratorium?

Yes, there are two exemptions to the One-Year Street Moratorium:

  1. Exceptions may be made when it can be sufficiently demonstrated to the Director of the Bureau of Street Services (BSS) that the City’s 30-day notice of a scheduled street resurfacing project was not mailed to the correct property owner of record at the time of notification, and the property owner made significant efforts to promptly notify BSS of any planned street excavations. 
  2. Exceptions may be made on Emergency Work. Emergency Work is defined under LAMC 62.61 as immediate and unplanned action that must be taken to alleviate a hazardous condition, which represents an immediate threat to life, health, safety, or property. This includes continuous efforts to effect the restoration of interrupted utility services (electrical, water, gas, wastewater and telecommunications). Bureau of Engineering’s Special Order SO06-0807, Step 4, prescribes the requirements on Street Damage Restoration Fee and right-of-way restoration for Emergency Work during the One-Year Street Moratorium.

Will the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) be increased or decreased in the future?

The Board of Public Works (Board) will calculate an adjusted SDRF annually on July 1, in accordance with the California Department of Transportation Price Index for Selected Highway Construction Items. The proposed revised SDRF is effective upon its adoption by resolution approved by the Board following a public hearing.

Do I have to pay a Slurry Seal Damage Restoration Fee (SSDRF)?

The SSDRF was discontinued on December 6, 2018.

When is the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) collected?

In the interim, the SDRF collection will take place via monthly billing, except for those user accounts that have billing restrictions. BOE won’t require collection of SDRF amounts above $5,000 but can collect payment over-the-counter prior to permit issuance until a revised payment collection policy is determined.

Does the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) apply to alleys?

If the Alley does not have a centerline shown on the geocoding module, it means that it does not have a section ID and in this case we should not charge an SDRF. The Utility Agency may select “Alley (No Centerline)” under the Surface Type selection within the geocoding module in the Online U-Permit Applications System and that should waive the associated fees automatically.