Working in the Right-of-Way (ROW)


What is the Right-of-Way (ROW)? 

Right-of-way is property owned by the City of Liberty but utilized by the general public for access and use. Right-of-way contains facilities such as roads, alleys, utilities and other public infrastructure. The right-of-way generally extends beyond the limits of the street out to the private property line located typically one foot behind the back of sidewalk. Larger roadways may have larger right-of-way areas. As noted in the diagram above, public right-of-way is a finite asset of our community. Therefore, proper management is required to maximize efficiency, ensure safety and preserve community appearance. To determine the actual right-of-way limits on a particular property you will need to check property records and/or have the property surveyed.

Table Summary of General ROW Permit Requirements

The following table provides a quick summary of the more important requirements related to ROW permitting. The table is not all inclusive of requirements and further details are provided below. The City Engineer's office should be contacted at 816.439.4503 or email for any questions.

Right of way permit fees must be paid in person at Liberty City Hall, 101 E. Kansas Street, Liberty, MO 64068.

  Homeowner/Contractor Business/Corporation with Assets in ROW (3rd party utilities)
ROW Permit
Procedures for Applicants
Permit Fee: $45 per address impacted
Procedure for Applicants
Permit Fee: $45 per address impacted; or $200 per Unit Block
Not Applicable
ROW Use Agreement Application Form
ROW Use Agreement (Requires City Council Approval)
Existing Franchise Agreement
Insurance Not Applicable Liability insurance and bonding is required unless the right-of-way user has twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) in net assets and does not have a history of non-compliance.
City Occupational License Required for contractors
Not applicable for homeowners self-performing work.
Required for contractors
Maintenance Bond & Period Two year $5,000 project specific performance and maintenance bond if a street cut is required.  $50,000 annual bond is an option for multiple street cut projects (10+) throughout the calendar year. Two year liability insurance and bonding is required unless the right-of-way user has filed with the City Clerk an Affidavit of Net Assets affirming twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) in net assets and does not have a history of non-compliance.
Irrigation System in ROW Procedures for Irrigation ROW Permit Not Applicable

Rules & Maintenance

While ROW is owned by the City of Liberty, by ordinance grass, vegetation, trees, sidewalks and curb and gutter are maintained by the adjacent property owner. The City has the right to use and regulate what happens in public ROW. For example, unapproved signs, sight obstructions and basketball goals are not allowed. City Code Enforcement removes illegal signs from the right-of-way. 

ROW Work Permit

For both homeowners/renters and private utility companies a ROW permit must be obtained prior to any work performed in the right-of-way. This work may include, but is not limited to:

  • Replacing a:
    • Sidewalk
    • Curb
    • Driveway
    • Driveway culvert
  • Plumbing (water service, sewer service or irrigation)
  • Private utility work - construct, own, maintain, control or use
  • Other repairs

Fee & Permit Expiration

The fee for permit and inspection of right-of-way work is $45 per addressed parcel impacted with a maximum of $200 per unit block of street impacted. The permit is issued through the office of the City Engineer and may be paid either online or in person. Permits expire after 60 days from the date of issuance. 

Contractors working within the public right-of-way without a permit will be issued a stop work order until one is secured, in which case the permit fee is doubled. 

Requirements for Private Companies with Assets Located in Public ROW

All persons and entities maintaining, constructing or installing facilities are required to have a Franchise Agreement or ROW Use Agreement, maintain an up-to-date City occupational license and up-to-date liability insurance conforming to the requirements as detailed in the City Right-of-Way Ordinance passed Dec. 11, 2017. The Right-of-Way Ordinance allows right-of-way users to file an affidavit of $25 million in net assets in lieu of the right-of-way performance and maintenance bond. ROW Use Agreements are effective for 10 years and must be approved by the City Council.

Processing Time

Allow at least 24 hours for ROW permit processing. 

ROW Use Agreement approval is driven by City Council Meeting dates and providing the necessary information in the ROW Use Agreement Application.

Private Street Plate Bridging (SPB)

  • Any person with a Right-of-Way Permit is authorized to use Street Plate Bridging (SPB) to cover open excavations, prior to backfill and restoring the street surface suitable for public use.
  • Embedded SPB are required during the months of December through February.
  • SPB shall be marked with the owner's name and telephone number.
  • A "Bump Ahead" warning sign (WP-1) shall be placed at least 300 feet before the SPB.
  • A City SPB permit must be obtained for a fee of $25 as part of a right-of-way permit application.
  • For the first 21 days there will be no additional daily permit fee. A daily permit fee of $50 shall be imposed commencing on the 22nd day after the SPB permit issuance and each day thereafter.
  • If the SPB is placed prior to obtaining a permit, the permit application fee shall be $100 and the daily permit fee begins immediately and will be doubled.

Installing an Irrigation System in the Right of Way

Contractors installing an irrigation system in the public right of way must obtain an occupation license in the City of Liberty and apply for both a building permit (lawn sprinkler system permit) and a right of way permit. By City ordinance, a Release for Lawn Sprinkler System waiver needs to be signed and notarized by each property owner on the deed when applying for an irrigation permit. Backflow devices must be inspected annually and reports sent in via email.

Right-of-Way Damage Report

When a building permit application is submitted for a new residential or commercial structure, a completed Right-of-Way Damage Report is required for approval. This form allows the contractor to note any pre-existing damage to:

  • Curbs
  • Drive approaches
  • Hydrants
  • Manholes
  • Sidewalks
  • Streets
  • Swales
  • Utility equipment
  • Water meters
  • Water valves
  • Yard inlets

At the completion of the project, the City inspects the construction area and any damage not reported on the form is required to be repaired prior to finalization of the permit. 

Sight Obstructions

Structures, trees, bushes and other landscaping that obstruct the vision of drivers are not allowed. Property owners may be cited for a code violation if objects in the right-of-way adjacent to their property are interfering with traffic safety. For information on sight obstructions, contact the City Engineer's Office at 816.439.4503.

Utilities & Easements 

What Are Utility Easements?  

These are areas where the utility (i.e.,  gas company, power utility, cable company, etc.) has permission to enter a property (public or private) to install and maintain utility facilities.  A utility easement may or may not be in the public right-of-way.

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Physical Utility Location 

Before digging in the right-of-way or in your own yard, you are required to contact DIG RITE (800.344.7483) for utility line locations. This is to ensure the utilities are identified for safety and an appropriate distance may be maintained during excavation. DIG RITE will need three working days notification prior to digging. Private assets (irrigation lines, drain tile, yard/parking lot lighting, etc.) are not located by DIG RITE.

Paper Utility Location for Planning

Each utility maintains its own records as to the location of their utility. Contact numbers for each utility are listed below:

Company Utility
Phone Number
DIG RITE Missouri One Call
Utility Locating Service
1-800-DIG-RITE (800.344.7483) or 811
Evergy Electric Power Lines
BP Pipeline
Gasoline Pipeline
Natural Gas Lines
AT&T Telephone Lines
Time Warner
Cable TV Lines

Colors Used to Identify Utility Locations

From time to time you may see lines painted on the street in front of your property or on the property itself. These are most likely utility locations and a contractor or possibly your neighbor may have requested the locations. The colors have a distinct meaning:

  • Red: Electric
  • Yellow: Gas-Oil-Steam
  • Orange: Communications-CATV
  • Blue: Water
  • Green: Sanitary or Storm Sewer
  • Pink: Temporary Survey Markings
  • White: Proposed Excavation
  • Purple: Reclaimed Water


right of way colors.jpg