Right-of-Way Management

Right-of-way (ROW) is land which is owned by the City to provide a location for the construction of streets, sidewalks, and utilities. Typically, the width of public ROW is 50, 60, or 64 feet, although other widths may occur. ROW is always wider than the street. If a 50-foot wide ROW has a 26-foot wide street, then there is a 12-foot wide area behind the curb on both sides of the street which is owned by the City, providing that street is centered in the ROW. Property owners can not encroach upon public ROW with fences, walls, or buildings since this may conflict with the use of ROW for utilities and sidewalks.

Right-Of-Way Permit

A right- of-way permit is required for the following:

  • Sidewalks - New or replacement
  • Driveways - New or replacement
  • Encroachments - Fixed items (permanent or temporary) that encroach into the public right of way. Includes signs.
  • Sidewalk Cafes
  • Dumpsters placed in the right of way
  • Any utility work including trenching and directional boring.

To apply for a right-of-way permit, please contact the Engineering Department at 563.589.4159.

Excavation Policy

Any excavation work that occurs in the City Right of Way must follow the City's Excavation Policy, please see Excavation Policy for more information..


Tree Planting in City Right-of-Way 

If you want information about requesting a tree be planted between the sidewalk and the curb, please see Tree Planting in City Right of Way

Vacating a Public Right-of-Way

The City Engineer’s office manages the process of vacating an area of public right-of-way (streets or alleys) in the City of Dubuque.