An Excavation Permit is required to break or dig into the surface of a City of Calgary road right-of-way, as outlined in the Streets bylaw 20M88
The road right-of-way is public property designated for use by traffic, pedestrians and underground utilities. The City is responsible for managing this property and ensuring that the intended use, present and future, is protected. Learn what spaces are part of the road right-of-way.
Excavation permitting ensures that the road right-of-way is:
- properly repaired after excavation work is complete;
- made safe for public use and that proper steps are taken to maintain the life of the road right-of-way; and
- that The City and citizens are not responsible for costs incurred by excavation and right-of-way repairs that are not part of regular maintenance and lifecycle activities.
Application procedure and eligibility
How to Apply
You may apply for your Excavation Permit up to two weeks in advance of your work start date. Applications require up to two business days to process. However, if the work you are planning impacts pavement that has been laid within the last two years, your application will require up to 10 business days to review.
Submit your excavation permit application through the City of Calgary ePermits system using your myID Business Account. See the Excavation Permit ePermit guide for step-by-step instructions.
Only contractors and utilities that are legally entitled to operate in Calgary can apply for an excavation permit. To ensure that all applicants meet this criteria, only applicants with a myID business account can request excavation permits through Roads ePermits.
- Company name and contact information
- Project coordinator’s name, e-mail address and direct telephone number
- Street address where the work will take place
- Valid Indemnification Agreement Number, if applicable.
- Utility Alignment Permit number for shallow utility work (ENMAX, ATCO, Shaw, Telus, Rogers, Bell, etc.),
- Tender number, addendum number, or purchasing order number, if applicable, and
- Additional maps/details you have pertaining to the scope of work.
- All excavation work must be completed within the dates listed on the excavation permit. The permit is valid for two weeks from the approval date.
Extending the permit: If an extension is required, requests to extend must be received before the permit expiry date and are granted on a case by case basis. Approximately one week before the permit expires, you will receive a reminder notification within ePermits.
- No more than 10 cuts are permitted per excavation permit.
- Each excavation permit cannot be for more than the length of one city block.
- All work must comply with the standards set out in the policy and specification manuals for contractors and consultants and Excavation Permit Terms and Conditions.
Returning your Excavation Permit after the work is Completed
You have 14 days after your permit expires to return your excavation permit using ePermits.
The following information must be returned:
- Permission to Permit number, if applicable.
- Site Contact details
- A photo or scanned pdf of your completed, signed permit. You may upload multiple attachments.
- A detailed description of every excavation, cut, break or disturbance made to the road right-of-way, with length and width measurements in metric.
Note: you will need to use the map function within the ePermits system to illustrate the location of your work.
Each site associated with an excavation permit will be inspected before the relevant permit is invoiced. The results of each inspection can be reviewed within ePermits. See the Excavation Permit ePermit guide for step-by-step instructions.
There are three possible outcomes from the inspection:
- All work passes inspection – the permit moves to the invoicing stage.
- The work fails inspection and the scope of work that was initially reported will be adjusted because of additional, required repair costs. You will be sent a failure notification and can view a description of the failure in ePermits. You have 14 days from the inspection date to accept or dispute the results of the adjustment findings using ePermits. If the inspection findings are not disputed within this timeframe, it is considered that you have accepted the adjustment and the permit will be invoiced according to the inspected amount.
- If the work fails the inspection, the contractor must correct the deficiencies and we do a re-inspection to confirm all deficiencies have been rectified. You will be sent a failure notification with a description of required corrections and a re-inspection date. It is the permit holder’s responsibility to ensure all work is completed by the re-inspection date.
Once an inspection has passed, adjustments have been accepted by the permit holder, or satisfactory correction of deficiencies have occurred, the permit holder will be invoiced. Full payment is due 30 days from the invoice date.
Excavation Permit Fees
Each Excavation Permit is subject to:
- A non-refundable Administration Fee, and
- Works Inspection Fee: As part of the City of Calgary’s Quality Assurance program, permit locations are randomly selected for a works inspection to ensure backfill compaction specifications are met. The Works Inspection Fee replaced the Compaction Compliance Testing Fee July 1, 2018. See the information notice.
- Asphalt Rehabilitation: These fees are charged when The City’s Permit Paving group tops the backfill with asphalt after excavation work has taken place.
- Pavement Degradation: These fees apply to all asphalt cuts as these cuts reduce the life of a road by 22%, which results in increased repair and maintenance costs.
- Top Lift Paving: These fees are charged when the road is in good condition as indicated by a 7 or greater Visual Condition Index. The road is milled and new asphalt is laid. The quality of the surface of the road is restored, preventing further deterioration to help maintain the roadway’s lifetime.
- Other Repair(s): These fees are charged when The City repairs any part of the road right-of-way impacted by excavation work.
24 hours a day, seven days a week using your City of Calgary myID business account.
Contact (Inquiries only)
Typical: Within two business days.
Roads paved in previous two years: up to 10 business days.
Roadway Classification and Visual Condition Index Map
Frequently asked questions
The road right-of-way is public property designated for use by traffic and pedestrians, as well as underground locations for utilities. The road right-of-way includes:
- City streets – asphalt and concrete;
- City sidewalks, curbs and gutters;
- Driveway crossings and wheelchair ramps;
- Back lanes/alleys, and engineered walkways;
- The area between the property line and the sidewalk, or sidewalk not separated by a sidewalk or pathway;
- The area between the sidewalk and the curb;
- The area separating roadway lanes, such as medians and islands;
- The greenspace adjacent to closed/gated roads/lanes; and
- The area within traffic circles and roundabouts.
Use the Calgary Roadway Classification and Visual Condition Index Map to search your location and see the road classification of every road in Calgary.
Click on the road you are interested in to view its classification.
The Visual Condition Index (VCI) is the measurement of the pavement condition of a specific section of road. A roadway in good condition is given a VCI equal to or greater than seven. Learn more about how the City of Calgary measures road quality at pavement quality evaluation.
Excavation permit FAQs
Use the Calgary Roadway Classification and Visual Condition Index Map to see if your location was paved within the past two years.
If you wish to cancel your excavation permit application before it has been reviewed by the Excavation Permit Office, you may do so at no charge.
If you wish to cancel your excavation permit after it has been approved, you can do so, however, you will be charged the non-refundable administration fee. See the Excavation Permit ePermit guide for a step-by-step walk through.
The following six permit types are the section outlines some of the most common permits and/or agreements required to excavate into the road right-of-way.
1. Indemnification Agreement
It is illegal to excavate, break or reconstruct anything on any portion of a City of Calgary road right-of-way without authorization in writing from the Director of Roads. This authorization takes the form of a Road indemnification agreement.
An indemnification agreement authorizes a certified contractor working on behalf of a property owner to excavate, break or reconstruct all or any portion of a street for a particular project. This agreement:
- Protects The City from potential lawsuits that could arise in response to work performed on City property.
- Ensures that construction on City property complies with City standards.
- Requires the person or company who enters into the agreement to maintain the work for two years after completion.
As part of the indemnification agreement, if you are constructing a lane, replacing curb and gutter, or performing any other work that could affect the grade of the roadway, The City will conduct a survey and provide grades for the construction.
Please note: Once an indemnification agreement has been approved by The City, you must obtain an excavation permit before you begin construction.
2. Utility Alignment Permit. Utility Alignment Permit
A Utility Alignment Permit is required by any utility provider excavating, breaking-up or otherwise disturbing or cutting the surface of any City’s rights-of-way. These permits typically are valid for six (6) months.
3. Street Use Permit
Required to exclusively use any part of the City road right-of- way.
4. Hoarding Permit. Hoarding Permit
Hoarding permits are required to occupy space on City owned right-of-way (i.e. alley, sidewalk, boulevard, and street) for the purpose of storing building materials and equipment (i.e. cranes, concrete trucks, forklifts, material delivery vehicles) around a construction site as per Bylaw 20M88. Parking of contractor vehicles is not permitted within the hoarded area owned by The City.
5. Temporary No Parking Permit
A temporary no parking permit is required to restrict parking on a curb lane for personal use, construction, or moving equipment within a Calgary road right-of-way. The permit holder is responsible for obtaining signage from an authorized third party. Signage must be set up 12 hours in advance.
Temporary no parking permits are only issued in conjunction with street use permits. Please apply for both permits at the same time.
6. Special Parking Permit
Special parking permits are issued to contractors only, who are working temporarily within a Residential Parking Zone (park by permit only). If approved, a special parking permit will be issued within three business days.
These permits are not intended for use in a paid parking zone, such as an area with Park Plus.
You can review the details of the failure through ePermits. Your inspector’s contact information will also be provided, should you wish to contact them directly after you have reviewed their assessment. See the Excavation Permit ePermit guide for a step-by-step walk through.
If your contractor or utility does not submit a valid Permission to Permit number as part of their Excavation Permit return, Pavement Degradation and, if applicable, Top Life Paving fees will be billed to the permit on a per-permit and per-cut basis. These fees are non-refundable, even if a valid Permission to Permit number is later provided to the Excavation Permit Office.
Invoices are only generated after all inspections have been completed and adjustments have been accepted by the permit holder.
If you wish to dispute your invoice, you must do so in writing. To be considered for investigation and review, dispute notification must indicate:
- invoice number,
- permit number
- items and amounts under dispute
- and the amount already paid.
If these details are not provided the request for review will not be accommodated.