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. The road right-of-way includes: city streets, sidewalks, driveway crossings, concrete roadways, boulevards, curbs and gutters, back lanes/alleys and walkways.

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.

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. See the excavation permit page for more information.

Preparation of the indemnification agreement

In your request for The City to prepare an indemnification agreement, you must provide:

  1. A letter on your company’s letterhead containing the project address and all pertinent contact information.
  2. Two copies of accurate, clear and concise drawings showing the scope of work involved.
  3. The related development permit number, if applicable, along with two copies of City-stamped, approved drawings.

Preparation of the indemnification agreement will take up to four weeks to complete. Once completed, copies of the prepared agreement will be sent to your company address for signature(s). The prepared agreement will include the amount of the security deposit, administration and engineering fees, and insurance coverage that must be provided before the indemnification agreement can be approved.

Approval of the signed indemnification agreement

An indemnification agreement cannot be approved until all signed copies of the agreement are returned to The City, together with:

  1. Proof of insurance: Unless you have a standing certificate of insurance with The City, you must provide proof of insurance that covers both construction and a two-year maintenance period. See The City’s sample indemnification agreement for further details;
  2. Security deposit: Bank drafts, certified cheques or letters of credit are accepted. The security deposit enables The City to correct the work if construction doesn't meet City standards. The deposit amount is based on the scope of construction and The City's unit rates; and
  3. Administration and engineering fee: The administration and engineering fee covers The City's costs for: administering the agreement, inspections, construction material testing and, if required, surveying grades prior to construction. These fees are determined by the scope of work.

Security deposit refunds

​Once construction is complete and a City inspector has approved the original construction, The City will refund 50% of the security deposit. When The City approves the construction after the two-year warrantee period, the balance of your deposit will be refunded. The City does not pay interest on deposits.

To request a refund or submit a question about Roads indemnification agreements, please contact us using the eServices request below.

Master indemnified contractors

A Master Indemnified Contractor has a standing indemnification agreement with Roads. For each project, the Master Indemnified Contractor applies for an addendum to their master agreement.

To become a Roads Master Indemnified Contractor, a certified contractor must:

  • Have a proven track record of quality work with The City.
  • Maintain standing insurance with The City.
  • Maintain a standing security deposit with The City.

If you’re interested in becoming a Roads Master Indemnified Contractor, or have questions about the process, please contact us using the online eService request below.

24 hours a day, seven days a week using your City of Calgary myID


It takes up to six weeks for The City to prepare and approve a Road indemnification agreement, providing the applicant submits all required documentation, proof of insurance, security deposit and fees in a timely manner.

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