Right-of-Way Management

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The City of Ames Public Works Department carefully manages its right-of-ways.  In 2011, the Engineering Division began administering Right-of-Way (ROW) permits through an online application named ROWay.  This online system is designed to streamline the ROW permit application and approval process by allowing users to:

• Register as a ROW user
• Apply for a ROW permit
• Upload drawings and/or necessary ROW application documents
• Request time extensions 
• Check the status of a pending permit 
• Receive automated email notifications when a permit is received, approved, and closed out 
• Print out approved permits
• Manage existing permits and view permit history
• Notify the City when the work is complete 

There is currently NO FEE associated with the ROWay permit process.

Before applying for a ROW permit, users must register online and provide proof of a current $1,000,000 minimum liability insurance policy. 

  • Click HERE to register with ROWay (Create a new account).
  • After registration approval, login as a registrant to begin the permit application process.
  • Contact Nate Willey at: nwilley@city.ames.ia.us with any questions.

The installation of small/micro cell wireless facilities within the City ROW requires approval of a separate permit in addition to the standard ROW permit described above: 

Below is a list of standard practices and regulations that apply to all work that is performed within the ROW:

  • City of Ames Right-of-Way Ordinance (Chapter 22A of the Municipal Code)
  • Follow the current Statewide Urban Design and Specifications (SUDAS) and the City of Ames Supplemental Specifications to SUDAS
  • Contact Iowa One Call for utility locates at 1-800-292-8989 or online at: www.iowaonecall.com 
  • Follow the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and choose the appropriate standard traffic control option.  If a different or modified traffic control plan option is needed, please contact the City of Ames Engineering Department for further guidance.  Applicant is responsible to provide and maintain all required construction zone signage. 
  • Full street closure of any arterial street or CyRide Route will require City Council approval.  Allow an additional 2-3 weeks to process these requests.
  • Working in the City ROW along U.S. Hwy 69 (Grand Ave north of Lincoln Way, Lincoln Way between Grand Ave and Duff Ave, and Duff Ave south of Lincoln Way) will also require the appropriate permits from the Iowa DOT in addition to a City of Ames ROW permit.  An approved City ROW permit must be obtained before City approval is recommended for the applicable Iowa DOT permit.     
  • If pedestrian ramps, or more than 50% of a crosswalk, are impacted as part of the work, the ramps must be designed and installed according to current ADA standards and SUDAS Design Manual Chapter 12.Within 60 days of completion, as-builts shall be submitted to the City for compliance verification.Click here to view Pedestrian Ramp As-Built Templates.Click here to view Truncated Dome Installation Information.
  • Inspections are required prior to the replacement of sidewalk ramps, curb and gutter, street pavement, and shared use paths.For these inspections, please contact the Engineering Department at least 24 hours in advance at 515-239-5160.
  • Inspections are also required for water, sewer, and sump service line connections.  For these inspections, please contact the City Plumbing Inspector or his/her designee at least 24 hours in advance at 515-239-5153.
  • Applicant agrees to hold the City of Ames harmless against any and all liability, loss, cost, damage, or expense which may accrue to the City as a result of any work or actions completed by the applicant or the applicant’s agent.
  • Utilities, pavement, curb and gutter, sidewalk, shared use path, trees, landscaping, or any other portion of a public place or ROW that is damaged as a result of installations by a ROW user shall be replaced or restored at their expense.

In addition to the standards listed above, the following construction guidelines also apply:

  • Work may not begin sooner than 12 hours after issuance of a permit unless an emergency exists (as defined by Iowa Code Chapter 480).If a street closure is required, work may not begin sooner than 48 hours from issuance of the permit.
  • Applicant is responsible for the removal, hauling, and disposal of all pavement and excavated waste material.
  • Granular backfill is to be placed and compacted in lifts of 12 inches or less.Soil backfill is to be placed in lifts of 8 inches or less and compacted to 95% of Standard Proctor Density.Testing is required for verification of soil backfill compaction.
  • Backfill and grade a minimum of 6 inches of topsoil over all disturbed soil areas.
  • Applicant is responsible for the repair and maintenance of landscaping (trees, shrubs, etc.) for 1 year and for the repair (seeding, mulching, sod, etc.) and maintenance (weed removal, watering, etc.) of grass areas for 60 days
  • For trench utility cuts in streets and shared use paths, follow Figure 9D-1.08 in SUDAS Chapter 9D with the following modifications:
    • Class A Roadstone/Modified Subbase may be used in place of Native Material from Cutback.Do not use clean stone with no fines. The geotextile must be permeable.
    • On concrete streets, saw cut (full depth) and replace the pavement at the next joint that is at least 3 feet beyond all sides of the trench.
    • On asphalt streets, saw cut (full depth) and replace the pavement 3 feet from the sides of the trench (length) AND one full lane in width (≈12 feet typically).Square off all saw cut edges (90° corner angles).
    • On composite streets (concrete overlaid with asphalt), saw cut (full depth) 3 feet from all sides of the trench and pour concrete to match the existing concrete pavement thickness OR a minimum thickness of 6 inches.Saw cut (partial depth) and replace the asphalt pavement 3 feet beyond the new concrete pavement (length) AND one full lane in width (≈12 feet typically).Square off all saw cut edges (90° corner angles).
    • NOTE: Full depth concrete pavement replacement may be permitted on asphalt and composite streets on a case by case basis. Please contact the Engineering Department at 515-239-5160 with any questions.
    • Applicant is responsible for the repair and maintenance of City street and shared use path replacements for a period of 2 years.
  • Due to winter weather, a ROW permit is valid for 180 days in order to allow for the completion of all soil restoration and seeding work. However, all other work, including curb and gutter, street pavement, sidewalk/shared use paths, backfilling, etc., should be completed within 10 days unless cold/inclement weather prevents or delays permanent pavement replacement.
  • When cold/inclement weather prevents or delays permanent pavement replacement, granular limestone or 4 inch thick concrete may be used as temporary surface restoration on residential streets and shared use paths.Cold patch asphalt (minimum of 4 inches thick) is required as temporary surfacing on all other streets. Applicant is responsible for the maintenance of temporary surface restoration until permanent street repairs are made.

 Working in the ROW without an approved permit, or failure to comply with the above requirements, may result in the refusal of future permits and a Municipal Infraction with an associated fine of $500.00 or more for each violation.