Ordinance 22


Adopted by the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners
November 14, 2000

Table of Contents

Section 1.0 Findings And Purpose
Section 2.0 Election To Manage The Public Right-Of-Way
Section 3.0 Definitions
Section 4.0 Utility Coordination Committee
Section 5.0 Registration
Section 6.0 Mapping Data
Section 7.0 Reporting Obligations
Section 8.0 Permit Requirements
Section 9.0 Permit Application
Section 10.0 Issuance Of Permit
Section 11.0 Timeliness Of Work
Section 12.0 Standards For Construction Or Installation
Section 13.0 Restoration Of Right-Of-Way
Section 14.0 Other Obligations
Section 15.0 Denial Of Permit
Section 16.0 Emergencies And Work Done Without A Permit
Section 17.0 Inspection
Section 18.0 Revocation Of Permits
Section 19.0 Appeal
Section 20.0 Placement, Location, and Relocation Of Facilities
Section 21.0 Interference By Other Facilities
Section 22.0 Right-Of-Way Vacation
Section 23.0 Abandoned Facilities
Section 24.0 Indemnification And Liability
Section 25.0 Severability
Section 26.0 Penalty or Fee For Violation


Appendix A: Fees
Appendix B: Standard Plates
Appendix C: Right-Of-Way Permit Application Form
Appendix D: General Requirements For Right-Of-Way Permit

Section 1.0 Findings and Purpose.

Hennepin County (County) holds the rights-of-way within its geographical boundaries as an asset in trust for its citizens. Under Minnesota law, the County is to manage the use of the right-of-way and other uses for public purposes, including use by public utilities. To provide for the health, safety and well-being of its citizens and to ensure the structural integrity of its roads and the appropriate use of rights-of-way, the County strives to keep its rights-of-way in a state of good repair and free from unnecessary encumbrances.

This Ordinance imposes reasonable regulations on the placement and maintenance of facilities currently within its rights-of-way or to be placed therein at some future time. It is intended to compliment the regulatory roles of all interested local, regional, state and federal agencies. Under this Ordinance, persons disturbing and obstructing the rights-of-way will bear a share of the financial responsibility for their restoration and integrity. Finally, this Ordinance provides for partial recovery of the County's costs associated with managing its rights-of-way.

This Ordinance shall be interpreted consistently with 1997 Session Laws, Chapter 123, substantially codified in Minnesota Statutes Sections 237.16, 237.162, 237.163, 237.79, 237.81, and 238.086 (the "Act") and the other laws governing applicable rights of the County and users of the rights-of-way.

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Section 2.0 Election to Manage the Public Right-of-Way.

Pursuant to the authority granted to the County under state and federal statutory, administrative and common law, the County hereby elects pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 237.163, Subdivision 2(b), to manage rights-of-way under its jurisdiction.

(a) "Manage the Right-of-Way" means the authority of the County to do any or all of the following:

  1. Require registration;
  2. Require construction performance bonds and insurance coverage;
  3. Establish installation and construction standards;
  4. Establish and define location and relocation requirements for equipment and facilities;
  5. Establish coordination and timing requirements;
  6. Require right-of-way users to submit to the County required project data reasonably necessary to allow the County to develop a right of way mapping system including GIS system information;
  7. Require right-of-way users to submit, upon request of the County, existing data on the location of users' facilities occupying the public right-of-way within the County;
  8. Establish right-of-way permitting requirements for excavation and obstruction;
  9. Establish removal requirements for abandoned equipment or facilities, if required in conjunction with other right-of-way repair, excavation or construction; and
  10. Impose reasonable penalties for unreasonable delays in construction or work conducted without having been issued the necessary permits.

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Section 3.0 Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, as used herein, have the following meanings:

"Abandoned Facility" (1) is a facility no longer in service and physically disconnected from a portion of the operating facility, or from any other facility, that is in use or still carries service; or (2) A facility that is deemed abandoned by the right-of-way user.

"Applicant" means any person who has registered and/or completes a right-of-way permit application and has paid the appropriate right-of-way permit fee.

"Aerial" means work done above any part of the right-of-way.

"County" means Hennepin County, Minnesota.

"County Engineer" means the Hennepin County engineer or his/her designee.

"County Management Costs" are the actual costs incurred by the County for public rights-of-way management; including, but not limited to, costs associated with registering applicants seeking permission to work within or obstruct a right-of-way; issuing, processing and verifying right-of-way permit applications; inspecting job sites; maintaining, supporting, protecting or moving user equipment during public right-of-way work; determining the adequacy of right-of-way restoration; restoring work inadequately performed after providing notice and opportunity to correct the work; mapping of "as built" locations of facilities located in rights-of-way; and revoking right-of-way permits and performing all other functions required by this Ordinance, including other costs the County may incur in managing the provisions of this Ordinance.

"Degradation" means a decrease in the useful life of the right-of-way caused by excavation in or disturbance of the right-of way, resulting in the need to reconstruct such right-of-way earlier than would be required if the excavation or disturbance did not occur.

"Degradation Cost" means the cost to achieve a level of restoration as determined by the County at the time the permit is issued, not to exceed the maximum restoration shown in plates 1 to 13, set forth in APPENDIX B.

"Degradation Fee" means the estimated fee established at the time of permitting by the County to recover costs associated with the decrease in the useful life of the right-of-way caused by the excavation, and which equals the degradation cost.

"Delay Penalty" means the penalty imposed as a result of unreasonable delays in right-of-way excavation, obstruction, patching, or restoration as established by permit.

"Director" means the County's director of the Transportation Department or his/her designee.

"Emergency" is a condition that: (1) Poses a clear and immediate danger to life or health, or of a significant loss of property; or (2) Requires immediate repair, replacement, or relocation in order to restore service to a customer.

"Emergency Hole" means the excavation of a hole necessitated by a condition creating a clear and immediate threat to life, health, safety or property or requiring immediate repair, replacement, or relocation in order to restore service to a customer.

"Engineer" means the Transportation Department Permits Office engineer or his/her designee whose office is located at 1600 Prairie Drive, Medina, MN.

"Equipment" means any tangible asset used to install, repair or maintain facilities in any right-of-way.

"Extension Fee" is a fee charged to extend the expiration date of a right-of-way permit.

"Facility or Facilities" means any tangible asset in or above the right-of-way required to provide related service to citizens or businesses within or adjacent to the County.

"High Density Corridor" means a designated portion of the public right-of-way within which telecommunications right-of-way users having multiple and competing facilities may be required to build and install facilities in a common conduit system or other common structure.

"Hole" means an excavation in the right-of-way, with the excavation having a length less than the width of the corresponding lane of traffic or boulevard for the section of the roadway corridor where the work is occurring.

"Obstruct" means to place any tangible object in a public right-of-way so as to hinder free and open passage over that or any part of the right-of-way for an aggregate period of one-half (1/2) hour or more in conjunction with the issuance of a right-of-way permit.

"Patch or Patching" means a method of pavement or boulevard replacement that is temporary in nature. A patched pavement consists of: (1) The compaction of the subbase and aggregate base, and (2) The replacement, in kind, of the existing pavement for a minimum of two (2) feet beyond the edges of the excavation in all directions. A patched boulevard may include the above definition if the disturbed surface is a paved walk, trail, or property access, or may consist of earthen backfill without turf if the disturbed surface is turf.

"Pavement" means any type of improved surface that is within the public right-of-way and that is paved or otherwise constructed with bituminous, concrete, aggregate, or gravel.

"Permit Holder" means any person to whom a right-of-way permit to work or place equipment or facilities in a right-of-way has been granted by the County under this Ordinance.

"Person" means an individual or entity subject to the laws and rules of this state, however organized, whether public or private, whether domestic or foreign, whether for profit or nonprofit, and whether natural, corporate, or political. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. A business or commercial enterprise organized as any type or combination of corporation, limited liability company, partnership, limited liability partnership, proprietorship, association, cooperative, joint venture, carrier or utility, and any successor or assignee of any of them;
  2. A social or charitable organization; and
  3. Any type or combination of political subdivision, which includes the executive, judicial or legislative branch of the state, a local government unit, or a combination of any of them.

"Registrant" means any person who has or seeks to have its facilities or equipment located in any County right-of-way.

"Restore or Restoration" means the process by which the right-of-way and surrounding area, including pavement, turf and other County facilities, are returned to the same condition and useful life that existed before intrusion or encroachment by a person's facilities.

"Restoration Cost" means the amount of money paid to the County by a permit holder to achieve the level of restoration according to Hennepin County standard plates 1 to 13 (APPENDIX B).

"Right-of-Way" means the area on, below, or above a public roadway, highway, street, cartway, bicycle trail or lane, boulevard, and public walk in which the County has an interest, including other dedicated rights-of-way for travel purposes and utility easements of the County.

"Right-of-Way Permit" means a permit which must be obtained before a person may work in a right-of-way. A right-of-way permit allows the permit holder to work in that part of the right-of-way described in the permit. The right-of-way permit must be obtained before a person may obstruct a right-of-way. The permit allows the permit holder to hinder free and open passage over the specified portion of that right-of-way by placing equipment, constructing an excavation, or installing aerial facilities described therein on the right-of-way for the duration specified in the right-of-way permit.

"Right-of-Way User" (1) A telecommunications right-of-way user as defined by Minnesota Statutes Section 237.162, Subdivision 4; or (2) A person owning or controlling a facility in the public right-of-way that is used or is intended to be used for providing utility service, and who has a right under the law, franchise or ordinance to use the public right-of-way.

"Service or Utility Service" Includes but is not limited to: (1) Those services provided by a public utility as defined in Minnesota Statutes Section 216B.02, Subdivisions 4 and 6; (2) Telecommunications, pipeline, community antenna television, fire and alarm communications, water, sewer, electricity, light, heat, cooling energy, or power services; (3) The services provided by a corporation organized for the purposes set forth in Minnesota Statutes Section 300.03; (4) The services provided by a district heating or cooling system; (5) Cable communication systems as defined in Minnesota Statutes Chapter 238; and (6) Telecommunications right-of-way user as defined in this Section.

"Telecommunications Right-of-Way User" means a person owning or controlling a facility in the right-of-way, or seeking to own or control a facility in the right-of-way, that is used or is intended to be used for transporting telecommunications or other voice or data information. For purposes of this Ordinance, a cable communications system defined and regulated under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 238, and telecommunications activities related to providing natural gas or electric energy services whether provided by a public utility as defined in Minnesota Statutes Section 216B.02, a municipality, a municipal gas or power agency organized under Minnesota Statutes Chapters 453 and 453A, or a cooperative electric association organized under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 308A, are not telecommunications right-of-way users.

"Trench" means an excavation in the right-of-way, with the excavation having a length equal to or greater than the width of the corresponding lane of traffic or boulevard for the section of the roadway corridor where the work is occurring. For the purpose of this Ordinance the definition shall include directional boring and/or plowing.

"Work" means to dig into or in any way remove or physically disturb or penetrate any part of a right-of-way, or encroachment into the right-of-way including above ground.

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Section 4.0 Utility Coordination Committee.

The County may create an advisory utility coordination committee. Participation on the committee is voluntary. It will be composed of any registrants that wish to assist the County in obtaining information and by making recommendations regarding the use of the right-of-way, and to improve the process of performing construction work therein. The director may determine the size of such committee and shall appoint members from a list of registrants that have expressed a desire to assist the County.

Section 5.0 Registration.

(a) Registration Required Prior to Work. (1) No person shall construct, install, repair, remove, relocate or perform any work within any right-of-way without first being registered pursuant to this Section; (2) Registration shall be required on an annual basis; and (3) Such registration shall be made on a right-of-way permit application form (APPENDIX C) provided by the County's Transportation Department Permits Office.

(b) Exceptions. The following are not subject to the requirements of this Section:

  1. Persons planting or maintaining boulevard surface plantings or gardens;
  2. Residents or businesses owning sanitary sewer and water service lines to a city main or owning drain tile lines shall not be required to register unless requested by the County, but shall be required to obtain a right-of-way permit for excavation and obstruction when said lines are installed, repaired, removed or relocated within the right-of-way; and
  3. Persons acting as agents, contractors, or subcontractors for a registrant who has properly registered in accordance with this Section.

However, nothing herein relieves a person from complying with the provisions of the Minnesota Statutes Chapter 216D, "Gopher State One Call" law.

(c) Registration Information. The registrant shall provide the following at the time of registration and shall promptly notify the County of changes in such information:

  1. Registrant's name, address, telephone number, and facsimile number;
  2. Name, address, telephone number and facsimile number of the person responsible for fulfilling the obligations of the registrant;
  3. A Certificate of Insurance from a company authorized to do business in the State of Minnesota or proof of self insurance providing minimum coverage as stated on the right-of-way permit application form;
  4. 24 hour emergency telephone number;
  5. An acknowledgment by the registrant of the indemnification of the County pursuant to Section 24.0 of this Ordinance; and
  6. Such additional information as the County may require.

The registrant shall keep all the information listed above current at all times by providing to the engineer information as to changes within fifteen (15) days following the date on which the registrant has knowledge of any change.

Section 6.0 Mapping Data.

(a) Information Required. Each registrant and permit holder shall provide mapping information required by the County in accordance with Minnesota Rules 7819.4000 and 7819.4100.

Therefore, in managing the use of its public rights-of-way, the County may establish, develop, and implement a right-of-way mapping system as follows. The purpose of a mapping system is to:

  1. Allow flexibility in its use by the County as an effective management tool;
  2. Enhance public safety and user facility safety;
  3. Provide for long-term cost savings;
  4. Improve public right-of-way design quality; and
  5. Allow for better information collection and cooperative usage among local government units, telecommunications companies, and other users of the public right-of-way.

(b) Application Required. When the County requires a right-of-way permit for work in its right-of-way, a person wishing to undertake a project within the public right-of-way shall submit a right-of-way permit application, which may require the filing of mapping information pursuant to subsection (c).

(c) Information. The County may require as part of its permit application the filing of all the following information:

1. Location and approximate depth of applicant's mains, cables, conduits, switches, and related equipment and facilities, with the location based on:

  • (a) Offsets from property lines, distances from the centerline of the public right-of-way, and curb lines as determined by the County;
  • (b) Coordinates derived from the coordinate system being used by the County; or
  • (c) Any other system agreed upon by the right-of-way user and the County.

2. The type and size of the facility;

3. A description showing above ground appurtenances;

4. A legend explaining symbols, characters, abbreviations, scale, and other data shown on the map; and

5. Any facilities to be abandoned, if applicable, in conformance with Minnesota Statutes, Section 216D.04, Subdivision (d).

  • (d) Changes and Corrections. The application must provide that the applicant agrees to submit "as built" drawings, reflecting any changes and variations from the information provided under subsection (c), items 1 to 5.
  • (e) Additional Construction Information. In addition, the right-of-way user shall submit to the County at the time the project is completed a completion certificate according to Minnesota Rule 7819.1300.
  • (f) Manner of Conveying Permit Data. A right-of-way user is required to provide or convey mapping information or data in a format approved by the engineer. If the right-of-way user cannot provide the information in a format approved by the engineer, a right-of-way permit application fee may include the cost to convert the data furnished by the right-of-way user to a format currently in use by the County.
  • (g) Data on Existing Facilities. At the request of the County, a right-of-way user shall provide existing data on its existing facilities within the public right-of-way in the form maintained by the user at the time the request is made, if available.

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Section 7.0 Reporting Obligations.

Each registrant shall, at the time of registration and by January 1 of each year, file a construction and major maintenance plan for all work within the County right-of-way for the upcoming year with the engineer. Such plan shall be submitted using a format designated by the engineer and shall contain the information determined by the engineer to be necessary to facilitate coordination and reduction in the frequency of excavations and obstructions of right-of-way.

The plan shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

(a) To the extent known, the tentative locations and the estimated beginning and ending dates of all projects contemplated for the five (5) years following the next calendar year.

The engineer will have available for inspection in the Transportation Department Permits Office a composite list of all projects of which the engineer has been informed in the annual plans. All registrants are responsible for keeping themselves informed of the current status of this list. Each registrant must notify the engineer immediately of any change in its list of projects.

Section 8.0 Permit Requirements.

(a) Permit Required. Except as otherwise provided in this Ordinance, no person may obstruct or work in any right-of-way without first having been issued the right-of-way permit pursuant to this Section.

Exceptions are as follows:

  1. Metro Transit signing, plus red/white "T" signs on existing posts;
  2. Crosswalk painting and pavement markings desired by the city and authorized by the County (County policy provides that the County install the initial pavement markings on new surfacing. Subsequent pavement marking maintenance is the responsibility of the city);
  3. Install and maintain Metro Transit bus benches (not bus shelters);
  4. Snowplow sidewalks;
  5. Paint curb yellow;
  6. Street and sidewalk sweeping;
  7. Install and maintain street name signs, ground mount;
  8. Sewer cleaning;
  9. TV sewer-line inspection;
  10. Flush water mains;
  11. Pump water (across road) with hose in street;
  12. Surveying operations;
  13. Movement of maintenance equipment (city equipment) which is over-dimensioned/ overweight;
  14. Mailbox installation; and
  15. Utility company (routine maintenance) in rights-of-way, along with similar city maintenance which do not disrupt a surface.

A right-of-way permit is required for the permit holder to work in that part of the right-of-way described in each permit to the extent and for the duration specified in the permit.

(b) Permit Extension. No person may work in or obstruct the rights-of-way beyond the date specified in the permit or do any work beyond that specified in the permit unless such person makes a supplementary application for an extension or modification of the work specified in the permit before expiration of the permit, pays a permit extension fee and is granted a permit extension by the engineer. The engineer may extend the completion date or scope of the work if the specified work could not be done because of circumstances beyond the control of the permit holder.

(c) Penalty for Violation of Ordinance. A person shall be subject to a penalty for violation of the Ordinance as stipulated in Section 26.0.

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Section 9.0 Permit Application.

Application for a right-of-way permit is made to the engineer. Right-of-way permit applications shall contain, and will be considered complete only upon compliance with the requirements of the following provisions:

(a) Application and Fee. An application for a right-of-way permit shall be made on forms provided by the Transportation Department Permits Office (APPENDIX C) and shall be accompanied by fees for: (1) Permit application (APPENDIX A); (2) Prior work in the rights-of-way; and (3) Any undisputed loss, damage, or expense suffered by the County because of prior work in the rights-of-way or any emergency action taken by the County in regard to facilities comprehended in the permit application.

A separate right-of-way permit is required for work within each County road right-of-way.

Application shall include:

  1. Two (2) sets of appropriate engineering scale drawings showing the location of all facilities and improvements proposed;
  2. Location and approximate depth of the subject and related facilities and any other facilities in the immediate vicinity;
  3. A description of the methods that will be used in the work;
  4. The scaled drawings shall be folded to a uniform size of 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches;
  5. The Hennepin County road and associated right-of-way affected by the work;
  6. Offset distances from the roadway centerline to the back of curb or edge of pavement surface and the associated right-of-way line;
  7. A legend explaining symbols, characters, abbreviations, scale, north arrow, and other data;
  8. The location of any public streets, trails, walks or alleys and private property accesses that will be temporarily closed to use during the work;
  9. Any facilities to be abandoned, if applicable, in conformance with Minnesota Statutes, Section 216D.04 Subdivision 3; and
  10. Any other information reasonably required by the County.

Section 10.0 Issuance of Permit.

Permit Issuances; Conditions. The engineer shall issue a right-of-way permit upon finding the work will comply with the requirements of this Ordinance. The engineer may impose reasonable conditions upon the issuance of the permit and the performance of the permit holder there under to protect the public health, safety and welfare, to insure the structural integrity of the rights-of-way, to insure completion of the rights-of-way restoration within a specified period, to protect the property and safety of other users of the rights-of-way and to minimize the disruption and inconvenience to the public. The County may require, in its discretion, that a right-of-way applicant install additional, related fiber-optic infrastructure, at County's reasonable expense, for use by the County and its partners. The engineer and the applicant shall collaboratively develop infrastructure specifications, additional cost estimates and documentation necessary to transfer right, title and interest to the County.

Section 11.0 Timeliness of Work.

The work to be done under the right-of-way permit and the patching and restoration of the right-of-way as required herein, must be completed within the dates specified in the permit. The permit expiration date may be increased by as many days as work could not be done because of circumstances beyond the control of the permit holder.

Section 12.0 Standards for Construction or Installation.

The requirements and standards for facility construction or installation are contained in APPENDIX D.

Section 13.0 Restoration of Right-of-Way.

The County may chose either to have the permit holder restore the surface portion of the rights-of-way or to restore the surface portion of the rights-of-way itself.

(a) County Restoration. If the County restores the rights-of-way, the permit holder shall pay the costs thereof within thirty (30) days of billing. If, during the twenty-four (24) months following such restoration, the restored surface settles due to the permit holder's improper back filling, the permit holder shall pay to the County, within thirty (30) days of billing, all costs associated with the County having to correct the settlement.

(b) Permit Holder Restoration. If the permit holder is to restore the right-of-way, at the time of application, the County may require the perspective permit holder to post a construction performance bond, letter of credit or cash deposit in an amount determined by the engineer to be sufficient to cover the cost of restoration. The construction performance bond or letter of credit must be approved by the County Attorney. If, within twenty-four (24) months after completion of restoration of the right-of-way, and acceptance by the engineer, the engineer determines the right-of-way has been properly restored, the posted security will be released.

(c) Degradation Fee in Lieu of Restoration. In lieu of right-of-way restoration, a permit holder may elect to pay a degradation fee. However, the permit holder shall remain responsible for replacing and compacting the subgrade and aggregate base material in the excavation and the degradation fee shall not include the cost to accomplish these responsibilities.

(d) Standards. The permit holder shall perform temporary surfacing, patching and restoration including backfill, compaction, and landscaping according to the standards and with the materials specified by the engineer. The engineer shall have the authority to prescribe the manner and extent of the restoration and may do so in written procedures of general application or on a case-by-case basis. The engineer in exercising this authority shall comply with Public Utilities Commission (PUC) standards for right-of-way restoration and require conformance to Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) standard specifications and local government specifications and shall further be guided by the following considerations:

  1. The number, size, depth and duration of the excavations, disruptions or damage to the right-of-way;
  2. The traffic volume carried within the right-of-way and the character of the neighborhood surrounding the right-of-way;
  3. The pre-existing condition of the right-of-way and the remaining useful life of the right-of-way affected by the excavation;
  4. Whether the relative cost of the method of restoration to the permit holder is in reasonable balance with the prevention of an accelerated depreciation of the right-of-way that would otherwise result from the work, disturbance or damage to the right-of-way; and
  5. The likelihood that the particular method of restoration would be effective in slowing the depreciation of the right-of-way that would otherwise take place.

(e) Guarantees. If the permit holder performs the restoration, the permit holder shall guarantee such work and its maintenance for twenty four (24) months following its completion and acceptance by the engineer. During this twenty four (24) month period it shall, upon notification from the engineer, correct all defective restoration to the extent necessary within five (5) business days of the receipt of notice, using the method required by the engineer. If the defective work is not corrected by the permit holder, and the County does such work and sends a bill to the permit holder, who fails to pay for such work, the County may exercise its rights under the construction performance bond.

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Section 14.0 Other Obligations.

(a) Compliance With Other Laws. The permit holder must obtain all other necessary permits, licenses and approvals and pay all fees required. The permit holder shall comply with all requirements of local, regional, state and federal laws, including Minnesota Statutes Sections 216D.01-.09 ("One Call Excavation Notice System"). A permit holder shall perform all work in conformance with all applicable codes and established rules and regulations and is responsible for all work done in the right-of-way pursuant to its permit, regardless of who does the work.

(b) Prohibited Work. Except in an emergency, and with the approval of the engineer, no work within the paved surfaces of the right-of-way may be done when seasonally prohibited or when conditions are unreasonable for such work.

(c) Maintenance of Drainage Within Right-of-Way. A permit holder shall not so obstruct a right-of-way that the natural free and clear passage of water along the gutters or other waterways shall be interfered with. If surface drainage is to be affected, the permit holder must be responsible for the proper disposition of the runoff.

Section 15.0 Denial of Permit.

The engineer may deny a permit based on any of the following grounds:

(a) Failure to register pursuant to Section 5.0 of this Ordinance;

(b) The proposed schedule for work would conflict or interfere with a previously issued permit for an exhibition, celebration, festival or any other similar event;

(c) The applicant and/or prospective permit holder fails to comply with the requirements of this Ordinance; and

(d) The engineer determines that denial is necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public or protect the right-of-way and its current use.

The engineer will not deny an application for a right-of-way permit for failure to include a project in a plan submitted to the County, if the registrant has used commercially reasonable efforts to anticipate and plan for the project.

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Section 16.0 Emergencies and Work Done Without a Permit.

Each registrant shall immediately notify the engineer of any event regarding its facilities which it considers to be an emergency. The registrant may proceed to take whatever actions are necessary to respond to the emergency. Within two (2) business days after the occurrence of the emergency, the registrant shall apply for the necessary permits, pay the permit fees and fulfill the remaining requirements necessary to bring itself into compliance with this Ordinance for the actions it took in response to the emergency.

If the engineer becomes aware of an emergency regarding a registrant's facilities, the engineer shall attempt to contact the local representative of each registrant affected, or potentially affected, by the emergency. The engineer may take whatever action deemed necessary to respond to the emergency, the cost of which shall be borne by the registrant whose facilities occasioned the emergency.

Section 17.0 Inspection.

The permit holder shall call the Transportation Department Permits Office a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours in advance prior to the site inspection.

(a) Site Inspection. The permit holder shall make the work site available to the engineer and to all others authorized by law for inspection at all reasonable times during the execution of and upon completion of the work.

(b) Authority of Engineer. At the time of inspection, the engineer may order the immediate cessation of any work which poses a serious threat to the life, health, safety or well-being of the public. The engineer may issue an order to the permit holder for any work which does not conform to the terms of the permit or other applicable standards, conditions or codes. The order shall state that failure to correct the nonconformity within a stated deadline will be cause for revocation of the permit. If the violation is not corrected within the stated deadline, the engineer may revoke the permit and coordinate the County's correction of the nonconformity.

Section 18.0 Revocation of Permits.

(a) Substantial Breach. The engineer may revoke a right-of-way permit, without a fee refund, if there is a substantial breach of the terms or conditions of any applicable statute, this Ordinance, rule or regulation, or any condition of the permit. A substantial breach of a permit holder shall include, but not limited to, the following:

  1. The violation of any material provision of the right-of-way permit;
  2. Any material misrepresentation of fact in the application for a right-of-way permit;
  3. The failure to maintain the required bonds or other security and insurance;
  4. The failure to complete the work in a timely manner, unless a permit extension is obtained or unless the failure to complete the work is due to reasons beyond the permit holder's control;
  5. The failure to correct, in a timely manner, work that does not conform to applicable standards, conditions or codes, upon inspection and notification by the County of the faulty condition;
  6. An evasion or attempt to evade any material provision of the right-of-way permit, or the perpetration or attempt to perpetrate any fraud or deceit upon Hennepin County or its citizens; and
  7. The failure to comply with the terms and conditions of any applicable federal, state, regional and local laws, rules and regulations, including any provision of this Ordinance.

(b) Notice of Breach. If the engineer determines that a permit holder has committed a substantial breach of a term or condition of any statute, this Ordinance, rule or regulation or any condition of the permit, the engineer shall make a written demand upon the permit holder to remedy such breach within a reasonable period of time or be subject to potential revocation of the permit. The engineer may impose additional or revised conditions on the permit to mitigate or remedy the breach.

(c) Reimbursement of County Costs. If a permit is revoked, the permit holder shall reimburse the County for its reasonable costs, including nonconformity correction and/or restoration costs and the costs of collection and reasonable attorney fees incurred in connection with the revocation. Such reimbursement shall be made within thirty (30) days of billing.

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Section 19.0 Appeal.

Filing of Appeal. A right-of-way user that: (1) Has been denied registration; (2) Has been denied a right-of-way permit; (3) Has had right-of-way permit revoked; or (4) Believes that the fees imposed are invalid, may have the denial, revocation, or fee imposition reviewed, upon written request, by the county engineer. The county engineer shall act timely on the written request. Should the matter not be resolved to the satisfaction of the right-of-way user after timely review by the county engineer, the right-of-way user may submit the denial, revocation, or fee imposition for review to the County Board of Commissioners. The County Board of Commissioners shall act on a timely written request at its next regularly scheduled meeting. A decision by the County Board of Commissioners affirming the denial, revocation, or fee imposition will be in writing and supported by written findings establishing the reasonableness of the decision.

Section 20.0 Placement, Location, and Relocation of Facilities.

(a) Placement, Location, and Relocation. Placement, location, and relocation of facilities must comply with the Act, with other applicable law, and with Minnesota Rules 7819.3100, 7819.5000, and 7819.5100. By submitting a request for a permit the applicant recognizes the work must conform to the existing ordinances and codes of other units of government related to facility placement regardless of how the application is written or permit granted.

(b) Limitation of Space. To protect health, safety, and welfare or when necessary to protect the right-of-way and its current use, the County shall have the power to use best management practices to prohibit or limit the placement and location of new or additional facilities within the rights-of-way.

(c) Relocation of Facilities. The registrant must promptly and at its own expense, with due regard for seasonal working conditions, permanently remove and relocate its facilities in the right-of-way whenever it is necessary to prevent interference, and not merely for the convenience of the County, in connection with: (1) A present or future use of the right-of-way for a public project; (2) The public health or safety; or (3) The safety and convenience of ordinary travel over the right-of-way.

Relocation Notification Procedure: The director shall notify the registrant at least six (6) months in advance of the need to relocate existing facilities so the registrant can plan the relocation. The director shall provide a second notification to the registrant one (1) month before the registrant needs to begin the relocation. The registrant shall begin relocation of the facilities within one (1) week of the second notification. All facilities shall be relocated within one (1) month. The director may allow a different schedule if it does not interfere with the County's project. The registrant shall diligently work to relocate the facilities within the above schedule.

Delay to County Project: The director shall notify the registrant if the registrant's progress will not meet the relocation schedule.

Section 21.0 Interference by Other Facilities.

When the County does work in the rights-of-way as part of its governmental right-of-way management function and finds it necessary to maintain, support, or move a registrant's facilities to carry out the work without damaging the registrant's facilities, the director shall notify the registrant's local representative as early as is reasonably possible. The County costs associated therewith will be billed to the registrant and must be paid within thirty (30) days from the date of billing.

Each registrant shall be responsible for the cost of repairing any facilities in the right-of-way which it or its facilities damage.

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Section 22.0 Right-of-Way Vacation.

If the County vacates a right-of-way that contains the facilities of a registrant, the registrant's rights in the vacated right-of-way are governed by Minnesota Rule 7819.1250 and other applicable laws.

Section 23.0 Abandoned Facilities.

A registrant shall notify the County when facilities are to be abandoned in County right-of-way. A registrant that has abandoned facilities in a County right-of-way shall remove them from that right-of-way if required in conjunction with other right-of-way repair, excavation or construction, unless this requirement is waived by the director.

Section 24.0 Indemnification and Liability.

By registering with the County, or by accepting a permit under this Ordinance, a registrant or permit holder agrees to defend and indemnify the County in accordance with the provisions of Minnesota Rule 7819.1250.

Section 25.0 Severability.

If any Section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this Ordinance is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions thereof.

Section 26.0 Penalty or Fee for Violation.

A person shall be subject to a fee or penalty for violation of this Ordinance when a person is obstructing the right-of-way beyond the date specified in the permit, is performing non-emergency work in the right-of-way without having been issued a permit or when a person causes the County to incur costs as a result of actions or inactions of the person.

(a) Delay Penalty. The County hereby establishes a delay penalty for unreasonable delay in right-of-way excavation, obstruction, patching or restoration. The delay penalty shall be reviewed from time to time by the County Board of Commissioners. A delay penalty will not be imposed for delays due to force majeure, including inclement weather, civil strife, acts of God, or other circumstances beyond the control of the permit holder.

The delay penalty for violation of this Ordinance will be levied daily as long as the violation occurs. The amount of the delay penalty will be based upon the following calculation which reflects the unnecessary inconvenience and hazard exposure to the public.

AADT/TL x LO x 0.0167 x $4.75


AADT is the most recent Annual Average Daily Traffic reported for the County road segment along which the work site is located.

TL is the number of through lanes within the County road segment along which the work site is located.

LO is the number of lanes obstructed (wholly or in part) by the work site.

0.0167 is the delay in hour measurement, vehicles experience along the County road segment in which the work site is located.

$4.75 is the hourly value of a person's time in a vehicle.

The minimum penalty for delay shall be $50.00 per day and the maximum penalty for delay shall be $500.00 per day.

(b) Fee for Violation. A fee for violation of this Ordinance shall be imposed when a person is performing non-emergency work in the right-of-way without having been issued a permit or when a person causes the County to incur costs as a result of actions or inactions of the person. The fee shall be based on the actual costs incurred by the County to correct the violation.

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Activity Fee
Permit Fee $265.00 per application
Permit Extension Fee $50.00 for each permit extension
Penalty or Fee for Violation Delay Penalty - minimum $50.00 per occurrence per day
maximum $500.00 per occurrence per day
Fee for Violation - actual County cost to correct


(see file attachment below)

(see file attachment below)


All warning devices and barricades shall conform to the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MNMUTCD), current edition, and any and all updates or supplements thereto.

All warning devices, barricades, flagmen and equipment shall be provided by parties or organizations performing the work. Said devices shall be removed from the job site promptly upon completion of work.

Standard warning devices and barricades and safety vests shall be kept clean and in good repair at all times.

Detour on a County roadway requires ten (10) working days advance notice to the Hennepin County Permit Office.

Excavations shall be cribbed, sheeted and/or fenced when necessary, or as required by Hennepin County.

Inclement weather shall be reason for delay of the work start or suspension of the work as determined by Hennepin County.

Safety vests shall be worn by ANYONE occupying County right-of-way.

Right-of-Way Permit on Job - Permits or copies shall be kept on the work site, while work is in progress, in the custody of the individual in charge, and shall be exhibited upon request by any County official.

Provisions and Specifications - These general permit requirements and specifications shall be considered as forming an integral part of each and every permit issued for operations on County roadways. The work authorized by this permit shall be done at such time and in such manner as shall be consistent with the safety of the public and shall conform to all requirements and standards of the County of Hennepin as herein specified. If at any time, it shall be found by Hennepin County that the work is not being, or has not been, properly performed, the permit holder, upon being notified, shall immediately take the necessary steps, at its expense, to place the work in conformance to said requirements or standards.

Annulment - In the event of failure or neglect, willfully or not, by said permit holder or permit holder's employees, to perform and comply with the prescribed conditions restrictions and regulations, the director may revoke and annul this permit and order said permit holder to immediately remove any and all structures of property belonging to said permit holder from the legal limits of the roadway or County property.

Execution - The permit holder shall use due diligence in the execution of the work authorized under this permit in order not to endanger or unnecessarily obstruct travel along the County road corridor. Operations shall be so conducted at all times as to permit safe and reasonably free travel over the roads within the limits of the work herein prescribed. All safety measures for the free movement of traffic shall be provided by the permit holder at its own cost.

Conformity to Laws - The installation shall be made in conformity with all applicable laws, regulations and codes covering said installations. All installations shall be made in conformity with regulations of governmental agencies for the protection of the public.

Removal - If at any time the permitted structure or facility shall fail from any cause whatsoever, the permit holder shall have the same removed or repaired immediately upon receipt of written notice to do so.

Existing Facilities - The permit holder must protect all existing installations.

Private Property - The permit as issued does not in any way imply an easement on private property or grant a right to encroach on private property.

Damage to Roadway - If pavement, roadway or right-of-way is damaged, same shall be restored, in a timely manner to its original or better condition, at the sole expense of the permit holder. Permit holder's failure to correct such damage in a timely manner will result in Hennepin County, through its own forces or contractors, making said repairs and billing permit holder for all costs and expenses related thereto. Permit holder shall make payment to Hennepin County within thirty (30) days of receipt of said bill. Permit holder agrees that if it fails to make payment of said amounts within the specified time, to Hennepin County, it shall pay all costs relating to debt collection, including, but not limited to, court costs, fees, interest and attorneys' fees.

Quality of Work - Finished surface, base and sub-base of road upon completion of work shall be equal to or better than specifications for the original roadway surface.

Cutting of Trees - The permission herein granted does not confer upon the permit holder the right to cut, remove or destroy trees or shrubbery within the legal limits of the roadway or relieve permit holder from obtaining any consent otherwise required from the owner of the property adjacent thereto.

Boring or Jacking - Installation of pipe under roadways, shall be jacked or bored as designated by the Hennepin County Transportation Department.

Liner or Casing Pipe - Liner or casing pipe shall be required for installations exceeding four (4) inches in diameter unless a certified Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) "jacking" reinforced concrete pipe is utilized for storm drainage applications. MnDOT specification No. 2501.3C1 shall govern placement. The casing shall be filled with sand or pea rock and the ends shall be grouted and or bricked shut. Pressure grouting shall be required as designated by Hennepin County.

Drainage - The existing drainage patterns shall not be altered unless approved by Hennepin County. Watershed District approval and drainage calculations are required if the work alters existing drainage patterns.

Pole Anchors - No pole anchors, anchors, braces or construction shall occur on the right-of-way except by permit authorization.

Driving Limitations - No driving onto highway from ditch or driving on shoulders or over curbs shall occur where damage will occur.

Lugs on equipment - No lugs shall be used on equipment traversing Hennepin County roadways.

Clean-up - Street surface and roadside shall be kept clean, neat and presentable throughout construction as determined by the Hennepin County Transportation Department.

Dust Control - Dust control shall be provided upon request of the Hennepin County Transportation Department.

Trees and Vegetation - Burning or disking operations and or the use of chemicals to control or kill trees, brush and other vegetation is prohibited without Hennepin County approval.

Restoration - It shall be further understood that the permit holder will be responsible for maintenance or repair of any and all failures due to settlement, erosion, lack of vegetation growth, rutting or other job related problems for a period of three (3) years after project completion and Notice of Work Completion form has been received by Hennepin County. The permit holder shall perform all said maintenance immediately after it has been notified of said deficiency. The permit holder shall be responsible for all costs and expenses related to said maintenance. The permit holder's failure to perform said maintenance immediately will result in Hennepin County, through its own forces or its contractor, performing said maintenance and billing the permit holder for all costs and expenses related thereto. The permit holder shall make payment to Hennepin County within thirty (30) days of receipt of said bill. The permit holder agrees, that if it fails to make payment of said amounts within the specified time, to Hennepin County, the permit holder shall pay all costs related to debt collection, including, but not limited to, court costs, fees, interest and attorneys' fees.

Manholes - All manhole covers, valve covers, etc. shall be placed 1/2 inch lower than finished grade.


Communication: The permit holder shall call the Permit Office at 612-596-0339 prior to construction. The permit holder shall provide a representative on site at all times and an emergency contact, 24 hours per day 7 days per week.

Work Hours: The permit holder shall not work within the Hennepin County roadway surface during AM or PM traffic rush hour periods nor before sunrise or after sunset, unless authorized by the engineer. NO WORK PERMITTED WITHIN ROADWAY SURFACE DURING: Winter (November 15th through April 15th), or Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays unless daily "Special Permission" is obtained from the Hennepin County Permit Office.

Notification: The applicant shall be responsible for obtaining permits from any affected municipality or MnDOT. The applicant shall notify all affected emergency personnel, public transit officials, local residents or any other affected group. The applicant shall utilize the "Gopher State One Call" excavation notice system as required under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 216D, 48 hours prior to performing any excavation by calling one of the following Gopher State One Call numbers: 811 (Call Before You Dig); 651-454-0002 or 800-252-1166.

Specifications: The MnDOT Standard Specifications for Construction, 1995 Edition shall govern all installations performed under this permit.

Survey: The installations shall be surveyed by the applicant to insure correct placement within Hennepin County right-of-way. The applicant is required to preserve all existing survey monuments. If Hennepin County determines survey monuments have been disturbed during construction activities, the applicant shall accept full responsibility for all costs incurred to re-establish these monuments.

Traffic Control: The permit holder shall furnish, install, and maintain all required traffic control devices according to the MNMUTCD "Temporary Traffic Control Zone Layouts Field Manual" dated April 1995, MNMUTCD, dated 1991 and all current updates, the MnDOT Standard Specifications for Construction, dated 1995 and the MnDOT Traffic Engineering Manuals Parts 1-3, dated January 1996 and all current updates. Detour routing shall require a minimum ten (10) working days advance notice to Hennepin County.

Tree Removal: No tree or substantial shrub shall be removed from Hennepin County existing or dedicated right-of-way unless written permission is obtained. This permit will not serve as permission to remove vegetation from County property. The permit holder will be responsible for obtaining written permission from any property owner prior to removing any vegetation. All plants or trees removed or damaged shall be replaced in kind by the permit holder.


  • Trenches for all utilities shall be located as approved by Hennepin County. Trenches, located parallel with the County road, shall not be left opened for a distance greater than 300 feet.
  • Excavated materials shall be placed or stored on the side of the operation farthest from the traveled roadway and an adequate distance from the edge of the excavation to prevent trench collapse. The material shall not impede any existing drainage.
  • After the work has been completed, the excavation may be backfilled with the original excavated material unless it consists of peat, muck, soft or unstable soil, boulders or large rock. If the excavated material is unsuitable, it shall be disposed of off County right-of-way and replaced with granular or suitable clay soils as approved by Hennepin County.
  • All trenching shall be backfilled by the "Quality Compaction Method" as defined in Specification 2105.3F2 of the 1995 Edition of the MnDOT Standard Specifications for Construction.
  • The backfill, compaction, and restoration shall occur immediately after the installation of the underground facility.

Gravel Aggregate Base: Aggregate base shall meet "Class 5" requirements as stated in Table 3138-1 of the 1995 Edition of MnDOT Standard Specifications for Construction. The use of recycled products is encouraged within the limitations set forth in MnDOT Specification 3138.

Gravel Aggregate Surfacing: Aggregate surface shall meet "Class 2" requirements as stated within Table 3138-1 of the 1995 Edition of MnDOT Standard Specifications.

Directional Boring: All hard surfaced roadways and entrances shall be jacked or bored. All bored pipe installed perpendicular to County roadways, larger than four (4) inch diameter, shall be pulled through a larger diameter carrier pipe. The internal pipe shall be adequately supported throughout the entire length of the carrier pipe. The end openings shall be grouted and/or bricked shut. Prior to pulling, the fused pipe shall not impede any walkway or roadway facilities. The cutter head shall be sized as close as possible to the diameter of the outer pipe to avoid excessive voids surrounding the bored hole. The bored hole shall be reinforced with a bentonite slurry. The permit holder shall limit the amount of slurry utilized to perform the boring operation. All excessive slurry shall be vacuumed from the bore pits. Any slurry that extrudes through the pavement or sidewalk surfaces shall immediately be removed.

Jacking: A casing pipe is required on all jacking installations, unless a certified MnDOT "jacking", reinforced concrete pipe is utilized for storm drainage applications. MnDOT Specification No. 2501.3C1 shall govern placement. The auger shall not extend substantially beyond the casing pipe. The casing shall be filled with sand or pea rock and the ends shall be grouted and/or bricked shut.

Bore/Jacking Pits: The pit shall be located a minimum of five (5) feet from the back of curb in an urban area or at least ten (10) feet from the nearest edge of the traveled lane in a rural area. All pits shall be protected with tight orange "snow" fence, flashers, barrels, Jersey barrier, sheeting, cribbing, etc. or as required by Hennepin County. The contractor shall take every precaution feasible to protect open excavations at all times. Whenever possible, the excavation shall be backfilled and properly compacted at the conclusion of the work shift. No excavation shall be made in advance of the actual work within the excavation.

Bituminous Pavement:

  • No opening shall be made in bituminous pavements unless hot mix is available, except for emergencies.
  • Transportation Department Permit Office staff shall determine the pavement opening dimensions.
  • The pavement shall be sawed or milled in a neat, straight vertical line. The sides of the pavement shall be smooth, to insure a uniform bond to the new patch.
  • A bituminous tack coat meeting the requirements of MnDOT Specification No. 2357 shall be applied to all bituminous or concrete adjacent surfaces prior to placing bituminous mix. If an emulsified tack coat is utilized, adequate time shall be given to ensure the "breakdown" of the tack coat prior to mix placement.
  • Bituminous surfaces shall be replaced with mix conforming to MnDOT Specification No. 2340 Type "47A".
  • The permit holder shall remove and deliver all bituminous pavements to a bituminous recycling facility.
  • Any pavement that has been scarred by equipment, lugs, cleats, teeth, etc. shall be repaired or replaced as directed by Hennepin County.

Concrete Pavement:

  • No opening shall be made in concrete pavements during winter months, except for emergencies
  • The pavement shall be sawed the full depth of the concrete, removed, and delivered to a concrete recycling facility.
  • Concrete surfaces shall be replaced with mix designation 3A42 High Early concrete conforming to MnDOT Specification No. 2461.
  • The concrete pavement installation shall conform to MnDOT Specification No. 2301.
  • If the concrete pavement replacement is within three feet of a construction joint, the removal shall include all pavement to the joint.
  • A minimum of 72 hours curing time is required prior to placement of traffic on patch.
  • Reference shall be made to "Hennepin County Concrete Repair Plate A" requirements for proper rebar placement.


  • The right-of-way shall be left in original or better condition.
  • Restoration shall be continuous with job progress.
  • Urban boulevards shall be sodded and rural ditch areas shall be seeded, conforming to MnDOT Specification No. 2575 unless otherwise directed by Hennepin County.
  • A minimum of three (3) inch depth of topsoil meeting MnDOT Specification No. 3877 shall be placed in either application.
  • The permit holder shall be responsible for maintenance of any failures due to settlement, erosion, lack of vegetation growth, rutting, or other job related problems for a period of thirty six (36) months after completion of project and Hennepin County has received Notice of Work Completion.
  • The permit holder shall be responsible for immediate replacement of any damaged sign within County right-of-way.

Permit Application for Utility Construction