Utility cut work on neighborhood street

General Information

The Construction Inspections Program is responsible for the inspection of three (3) types of Right-of-Way (ROW) projects that handle Excavation Permits (EX) and Driveway/Sidewalk Permits (DS):

  • Telecom Group
    • Fiber installation
    • Small-Cell installation
  • Utility Cuts Group
    • Excavation for the repair of dry utilities*
    • Residential and commercial driveways, curb cuts gutters, and sidewalk repair, installation, modification, or demolition

Each type of project is inspected at critical milestones for compliance with development regulations, criteria manuals, City of Austin (COA) Standard Specifications, Standards Manual, and permitted plans. These requirements improve public safety within the Right of Way (ROW), manage traffic, bike and pedestrian flows, and protect existing ROW infrastructure during construction.

Project reviews and inspections are coordinated as required with other departments that plan ROW improvements, maintain or repair streets, sidewalks, or dry or wet utilities.

For additional information about COA requirements, visit the following pages:

* Wet utility inspections for the permitted site or subdivision construction repairs or taps, are conducted by the Site and Subdivision Inspection Program.

iconUtility Cut Inspection Staff Contacts

John Cruz
Division Manager
o: 512-974-1590
c: 512-605-9745

Stephen Ramirez
Program Manager
o: 512-974-9751
c: 512-649-6053

Amar Becker
Customer Service Rep.
o 512-974-2685
c: 512-354-5252

Leticia Sifuentes
Dispatch I
c: 512-660-0417

Cecil Nunnelly
Utility Cuts Supervisor
c: 512-632-6739

Anthony City
Inspector C
c: 512-596-8523

Ernesto Gomez
Inspector C
c: 512-633-0419

Jesse Herrera
Inspector C
c: 512-264-5371

John Jones
Inspector C
c: 512-574-6837

Kristopher Anglin
Inspector C
c: 512-707-9751

Ruben Villalpando
Inspector C
c: 512-599-2661

Shane Wagner
Inspector C
c: 512-605-9252

Tray Dickson
Telecom Supervisor
o: 512-974-3322
c: 737-230-7143

Jose Riojas
Telecom Inspector
c: 512-576-9457

Esteban Baster
Telecom Inspector
c: 512-632-3928

Michael Gloria
Telecom Inspector
c: 512-983-4526

Paul Makee
Telecom Inspector
c: 737-262-5575

Eric Ramirez
Telecom Inspector
c: 737-262-3787

Roy Flores
Google Fiber Inspector
c: 512-550-9397

Jelani Matthews
Google Fiber Inspector
c: 512-599-2072

iconUtility Cut Inspection Process


step 1   ROW Permits, Fees, Licenses, and Other Requirements

After a building or site plan permit is granted, the next step is to apply for a ROW permit and/or license issued. A ROW permit, be it an Excavation Permit (EX) or Driveway/Sidewalk Permit (DS) must be applied for online, which is then issued by the Austin Transportation Department (ATD) permitting group. If the project includes small-cell-related work, additional documents must be submitted to Austin Energy (AE).

Applying for a ROW permit: Information regarding the ROW and anything permit-related, including permit extension requests can be found at ROW Management.

Austin Transportation Department (ATD) ROW Permits and Fees: Learn more about the type of ROW permit required. Associated fees can be paid on the Austin Build + Connect (AB+C) portal.

Contractor’s License: Required for work in the ROW and issued by ATD. Learn more about License Requirements (PDF).

Austin Energy Work Print Design: Must be obtained for small cell projects. Submit the request (Smartsheet).

Microtrench Waiver: If the microtrench method of installation is proposed for telecommunication, a waiver from the Public Works, Office of the City Engineer is required. Submit requests to pwdocerreviewdl@austintexas.gov.


step 2   Inspection Processes and Requirements

Below are general requirements that apply to all Utility Cut projects.

Safety measures before excavation:

  • Always contact your Utility Cut Inspector before construction.
  • Post active permit at the site.
  • Complete One Call utility locations within the construction area.
  • Mark existing and proposed utilities and locate easement and property lines.
  • Verify Construction workers have personal protective safety equipment appropriate for the type of construction.
  • Install traffic and pedestrian controls per permitted documents.
  • Place traffic flagger in proper locations to effectively manage traffic and pedestrian flows.

Protection of existing site features:

  • Install sedimentation controls and existing tree and landscaping protections per permitted plans.
  • Provide alternative accessible routes as required during construction.
  • File a Site Plan Correction if existing conditions are significantly different from permitted plans and field adjustments are required.

Final Inspection Requirements:

  • Install sidewalk and driveway joints at proper locations per COA specifications and details.
  • Install final hot asphalt mix for roadway paving from an approved COA supplier per roadway type.
  • Provide paving surfaces that are smooth and seamless.
  • Broom finished sidewalks.
  • Restoration of the final paving must be completed within 4 weeks after the final backfill.
  • Complete final site grading, compaction, and install 4 to 6 inches of clean topsoil in vegetated areas.
  • Restore vegetation to existing condition or better.
  • Ensure construction complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, COA Accessibility Standards/Detail, and Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS). There should be no protrusions that would impede accessibility.
  • Complete the mandatory Pothole Checklist showing horizontal and vertical locations. 


iconTelecom and Small Cell Inspections


A Pre-Construction Meeting is required for:

  • Projects greater than 300 feet
  • Projects that require vertical boring


To schedule a Pre-Construction Meeting, email your request to telecommunication@austintexas.gov and include the required documents and information below. After receipt of the emailed request and all required information, a pre-construction meeting will be scheduled within 48 hours of the request.

  • Email request for a pre-construction meeting with desired date and time.
  • Copy of active Excavation Permit and/or Temporary Use of Right of Way (TURP) Agreement from ATD.
  • Approved Telecom/Small Cell Plans and approved permit.
  • Additional documents required for Small Cell projects:
    • Austin Energy Work Print for power to the site.
    • Copy of the Public Notice of Intent to install Wireless Facility (sent to impacted properties) and a copy of the letter to ATD confirming addresses for which the Public Notice was sent.


General Requirements:

Small Cell network nodes, support pole attachments, and other facility requirements are inspected by Austin Energy (AE) and/or ATD based on pole ownership. Work must:

  • Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, COA Accessibility Standards/Details, and the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS).
  • Meet Design Standards as required on permitted construction plans.
  • Comply with plans and permit conditions.
  • Not impede traffic or pedestrian flows or conflict with design standards, specifications, or district design requirements.


Excavation Requirements:

  • The Pothole Checklist (PDF) with utility location and depth must be complete and accurate.
  • Fiber location must meet plans and utility location requirements.
  • The excavation depth and width must match the permitted plans.
  • Location, depth, and clear cover of fiber must meet plan requirements.
  • A waiver from the Public Works, Office of the City Engineer must be obtained if a microtrenching method of installation is proposed. Submit requests to pwdocerreviewdl@austintexas.gov.


Backfill Requirements:

  • Comply with standard trench backfill requirements for open excavation and bore pit repair per relevant details and specifications.
  • Microtrench backfill materials must comply with permitted plans or are otherwise approved by the Public Works Department, Office of the City Engineer.
  • Controlled Low-Strength Material (CLSM) backfill must be provided by an approved COA supplier and COA-accepted mix designs must be furnished.
  • Temporary trench repairs must meet COA Standards Manual Detail, 1100S-4 series.


Final Paving and Site Restoration Requirements:

  • Restoration must be complete no later than 4 weeks after final backfill in accordance with the Utility Criteria Manual 5.7.8
  • Hot-mix asphalt or concrete is required for final surfacing using hot-mix asphalt or concrete per COA Standards and Details.
  • Final site grading and compaction of non-paved surfaces must be covered with 4 to 6 inches of clean topsoil.
  • Vegetation must be restored to equivalent or better.
  • The phasing plan must be submitted to ATD-ROW Management as applicable to the project.


iconExcavation Permit for Dry Utility Repairs


General Requirements:

  • T-cut trench for repairs per appropriate COA Standard Details, 1100S series
  • Sand bedding and cover over the utilities per COA Standards
  • Warning tape or other approved detectable material per utility type.


 Trench Backfill Requirements:

  • Controlled Low-Strength Material (CLSM) backfill must be provided by an approved COA supplier and COA-accepted mix designs must be furnished.
  • Roadway surfaces for dry utilities may be temporarily patched with approved cold asphalt mix design per COA Standards Manual Detail, 1100S-4 series, or can be covered with a steel plate as specified in the Utility Criteria Manual 5.7.8 - Steel Plates.


Final Paving and Site Restoration Requirements:

  • Restoration must be complete no later than 4 weeks after the final backfill.
  • Final pavement surfacing must be hot-mix asphalt or concrete compliant with COA Standards and Details.
  • Final site grading, compaction of non-paved surfaces, and 4 to 6 inches of clean topsoil must be completed.
  • Existing vegetation must be restored to equivalent or better.


iconDriveways, Sidewalks, and Gutters


Concrete Forms and Reinforcement Requirements:

  • Compaction of subgrade as specified on plans before installation.
  • Horizontal and vertical elevations must be confirmed by the contractor and meet the Americans with Disabilities Act, COA Accessibility Standards/Details, and the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS).
  • Concrete forms must be installed correctly.
  • Concrete class and steel reinforcement for driveways and sidewalks must be per COA specifications and details.
  • Expansion joints per Standards Manual.

Work that is non-compliant with COA Details or Specifications requires a Public Works Department waiver before the pre-pour inspection. Submit requests to pwdocerreviewdl@austintexas.gov.


Concrete Pre-Pour Requirements:

All Residential Driveways, Sidewalks, and Gutter projects except for paving patching require:

  • The contractor may schedule an inspection through AB+C Portal.
  • The concrete mix must meet COA Standards and Details for driveway types and be supplied by an approved COA vendor.


Site Restoration Requirements:

  • Concrete surfaces must meet COA Standards and Details.
  • Existing asphalt must be repaired with an asphalt mix that meets COA Standards and Specifications.
  • Paving restoration must be completed no later than 4 weeks after the final backfill.
  • Final site grading, compaction of non-paved surfaces, and installation of 4 to 6 inches of clean topsoil must be completed.
  • Vegetation must be restored to equivalent or better.