City of Knoxville
Civil Engineering Division
Utility Maintenance & Construction Policy
Civil Engineering Division
Go directly to download page for permits
In order to maintain the quality and durability of streets and sidewalks
within public rights-of-way, and promote an attractive environment
for economic growth, the City of Knoxville provides this policy for
the non-emergency repair and improvement of utilities within public
Any excavation, tree cutting or trimming, construction, or installation
within public rights-of-way requires a Right-of-Way Permit from
the City of Knoxville Engineering Department. Contact Tony Vandergriff,
Civil Engineering Division, 1400 Loraine Street, at telephone 865-215-6136
for additional information and assistance. Permits for excavation
can be classified into two categories: Construction Permits and
The cutting of a street to install utilities will result in long-term
damage sustained to the street pavement throughout its life. It also
results in problems associated with work zone traffic control and
inconvenience to the public when maintenance is required during the
life of the pavement system. For these reasons, the Civil Engineering
Division will carefully review the necessity to locate utility facilities
under the pavement.
All utility cut repairs shall be completed in accordance with Construction
Notes and COK-12
(Standard Detail for Trench Cut Repairs). The construction
notes and standard detail COK-12 both refer to various
City of Knoxville Technical Specifications to describe
paving materials and methods, with focus on the following specifications:
| Section 5.0
||Mineral Aggregate Base
| Section 7.0
| Section 9.0
||Bituminous Plant Mix Base
| Section 10.0
||Asphaltic Concrete Surface
| Section 11.0
||Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (Plain)
| Section 12.0
||Concrete Curb, Gutter, and Combined Curb & Gutter
| Section 13.0
||Concrete Sidewalks, Driveways, and Median Strip
| Section 15.0
| Section 31.0
||Temporary Water Pollution Control
| Section 34.0
||Construction Area Traffic Control
All street lights and wiring improvements proposed within the
Central Business District shall be completed in accordance
with the attached provisions for underground installations. The Central
Business District is generally defined as extending from the World's
Fair Park (west) to the Coliseum area (east), and from the Tennessee
River northward to the Norfolk Southern Railroad right-of-way (north
of Jackson Avenue).
The Knoxville City Code contains additional regulations and requirements
for excavation within Chapter 23, Sections 23-71 through 23-83. See
Appendix B of the Land Development
Manual for the complete text of Chapter 23, or access all
of the Knoxville
||Permit required; emergency exception.
||Revocation of permit.
||Bond; certificate of insurance.
||Responsibility for repair of street, sidewalk, or right-of-way.
||Supervision of work.
||Public safety and traffic control.
||Use of sheeting and braces.
||Work in public right-of-way.
||Utility connections to be installed prior to paving the street.
||Protective barriers for work in sidewalks or right-of-way
||Annual maintenance permit.
ROW Construction Permit
The Engineering Department will grant utility companies and construction
companies a permit for all new construction within the right-of-way
on a per-project basis. A
ROW Construction Permit must be submitted to the Civil Engineering
Division at least 48 hours in advance of the work. Upon permit approval,
the utility shall notify the Civil Engineering Division as to when
the construction will begin. The City may choose to invoice utility
companies on a quarterly basis for construction permits.
The utility or construction company must obtain a temporary traffic
control permit (see requirements below) as part of the ROW construction
permit. In addition, an erosion and sediment control plan must be
submitted and approved before the ROW constuction permit will be issued.
Erosion and sediment control plans must be prepared and sealed by
a professional engineer registered in the state of Tennessee, and
must meet the requirements as set forth in Section 31.0, Temporary
Water Pollution Control. Emphasis will be given to projects located
near natural streams, wetlands or steep slopes.
The ROW Construction Permit is different than the ROW Connection
Permit . A state ROW connection permit is necessary for work or
driveway connections along state or federal routes, and can be obtained
from the local TDOT office (on Strawberry Plains Pike in east Knox
County) at 594-9101. A city ROW connection permit is obtained as part
of the land development process for a Building Permit or Site Development
Permit (see Chapter 5 of the Land
Development Manual or call the Stormwater Engineering Division
$1.00 per linear foot of pipe within the right-of-way as shown
on the construction plans. This fee may be reduced to $0.10 per
linear foot of pipe that is jacked/bored, or a minimum of $15.00
The following fee structure will apply for ROW construction permits:
$10.00 per linear foot of pipe which is constructed under the pavement
of the street and only surface destruction occurs. The $10.00 fee
is to cover the current cost of resurfacing a 12-ft wide section
of roadway. Exceptions to this fee would be as follows:
Temporary Traffic Control Permit
- If the street is on the current City paving list, the utility
would pay nothing.
- If the street has been resurfaced within 5 years or less, the
utility will pay $20.00 per linear foot, i.e. the current cost of
paving two 12-ft wide sections of roadway.
- In cases where there are deep trenches and subgrade destruction
as well as surface destruction, the utility will be billed on case-by-case
basis for the cost of roadway restoration.
traffic control permit must be submitted as part of the ROW
construction permit. An essential part of this permit is the preparation
of a detailed traffic control plan (TCP) as described on the permit
application. The traffic control plan must be in accordance with the
Work Zone Traffic
Control Policy as well as applicable state and federal laws
Traffic control plans for the following types of projects must be
prepared and sealed by a professional engineer registered in the state
Any excavation on a State Route.
Any excavation requiring a lane closure or detour on a principal
collector or arterial roadway as defined in the most recent version
of the Work Zone Traffic Control Policy.
Any excavation requiring a detour on any roadway.
Traffic control plans for all other situations may be prepared by
personnel trained in work zone traffic control procedures and familiar
with Section 34.0 of the technical specifications.
Annual Maintenance Permit
The City of Knoxville will grant utility companies an annual Maintenance
Permit. This permit will be routine maintenance cuts within City right-of-way,
i.e. service connections, breaks, repairs, etc. that occur during
the year. The fee for this permit will be based upon the report of
cut information (date, location, size, depth, materials), which is
tabulated by the utility and forwarded on a monthly basis to the Civil
Engineering Division, 1400 Loraine Street.
Temporary traffic control permits must be obtained for any types
of street/lane closures as specified above. This type of permit includes
the preparation of a traffic control plan (TCP), as specified above,
that conforms to the requirements of Section 34.0 of the technical
specifications. In addition, the utility company must use erosion
and sediment control measures to prevent damage to the project or
movement of sediment from the project site.
Utility companies may submit for review bored line extensions outside
the pavement edge that are less than 500 feet long and not more than
2 inches diameter as part of the Maintenance Permit. The cost assessed
for a bored line extension is $0.10 per linear foot or a minimum of
$15.00 per boring. The maintenance permit fee will be billed annually
to the utility for the previous year. The annual costs will be based
upon the rate structure as found in Knoxville City Code, Chapter 23.