What Types of Work are Covered in the Application of a Road Opening Permit?

June 19, 2019

Applied to traffic-carrying thorough fares, Road Opening Permits are required when a properly endorsed work service needs to conduct some work. The work is to be carried out under a road, under a slab of concrete that carries vehicles or pedestrians. In reality, Road Opening Permits are also filled out when working on driveways and footpaths, but, just for the purposes of this post, let's stick with high-traffic roadways.

Gaining A Road Opening Permit

Step one, a qualified contractor applies for the permit. If this isn't a public authority, a council department of some kind, then we're looking at a qualified trenching service. Installing or repairing pipes, fitting or fixing electrical cables, the mains-type utility lines are exposed by service personnel who are trained to work with heavy-duty plumbing or electrical lines. So far so good, the right people are applying, so the permit approval process should proceed without incident. Owned by a local council, their authority prevails. They'll make sure the permit holder enforces a workable traffic control plan. Protecting their assets and resources, it's also the council's job to make sure the permit applier provides certain assurances, which will probably include provisions for protecting the local water supply.

Protecting Their Interests

At the end of the day, that's the goal they're working towards. A local council or county authority knows someone wants to delve below their infrastructural layer. They also know that the work will interfere with a carefully planned roadway network. Believe it or not, there are traffic engineers out there, and that's their entire job, to keep vehicles and pedestrians safe while on the move. By digging up a road, that clock-like movement is thrown out of whack. Again, local authorities balk at this idea, but they also know the work must be done. By filling in a Road Opening Permit, they're reclaiming their control. They know what excavators are involved, know the backfill method used, and know the exact route of every trench.

Basically, that permit, once gained, covers two separate work domains. Filled in properly, the authorization paperwork addresses the below ground operations, which include mains hook-up services, cable repairs, etc. Above ground, the paperwork is just as descriptive. It lists the measures used for traffic control, the environmental control plans, methods used to keep traffic moving, and the options employed when keeping the project safely away from the prying attentions of any nearby commuters. Passersby or road traffic that last permit-approved safety action cannot be ignored. At the very least, warning signs will be mounted. Better yet, a whole host of site-illuminating floodlights and fences are ordered, as listed on a supplemental page of the permit.

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