City of Scranton, PA
Lackawanna County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future; words in the plural number include the singular number; words in the singular shall include the plural; and words in the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.
B. 
The following words, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except in those instances where the context clearly indicates otherwise.
APPLICANT
Any person who makes application for a permit.
BUSINESS DAY
Any normal work day for the City government, including Monday through Friday, except designated holidays.
CITY
City of Scranton.
CITY CORPORATE AUTHORITY
Any governmental corporation initiated by Council under the Municipality Authorities Act of 1945.[1]
CONCRETE
Soil cement, plain cement concrete or reinforced cement concrete and material contained in the base course of some City streets.
COST
Actual expenditures incurred by the City for labor, equipment and materials, which include all fringe benefits and overhead.
DEPARTMENT
The Bureau of Engineering.
DISTURBANCE
Any change in the road surface that alters the preexisting conditions.
[Added 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
EMERGENCY
Any condition constituting a clear and present danger to life or property by reason of escaping gas, exposed wires or other breaks or defects in the user's line.
EXCAVATABLE FLOWABLE FILL
Also referred to as "controlled density fill." A low-strength flowable mixture of cement, pozzolan (fly ash), sand and water used as a backfill material, placed by pouring it into the excavation or opening, requiring no subsequent vibration or tamping to achieve consolidation.
EXCAVATION
Any activity within the right-of-way of any street, alley or cartway which involves cutting, breaking or disturbing of the surface thereof, with the exception of reconstruction of said street, alley or cartway. "Reconstruction" shall be defined as the complete removal of the existing pavement structure and the construction of new subbase, base course and wearing course of a City street whereby reconstruction has been determined to be appropriate as part of a street improvement program initiated by the City. In this article, the term "opening" shall have essentially the same meaning as excavation.
[Amended 7-12-1995 by Ord. No. 111-1995]
PENNDOT
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
PENNDOT STREET
Any Pennsylvania state road located within the municipal boundaries of the City of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
PERMIT FEE
A fee paid by the permittee to the City to cover the costs of issuing, processing and filing the street opening permit and all reasonable costs associated with the inspection of an excavation and restoration of street opening.
PERMITTEE
Any person who has been issued a permit and has agreed to fulfill all the provisions of this article.
PERSON
Any natural person, partnership, firm, association, corporation, public utility company, or municipal authority.
PUBLIC UTILITY
Any utility company, excluding corporate authorities of the City, franchised by the Public Utility Commission of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
RESURFACE
A process which provides a new wearing surface in a certain paved street area between curbs with the same material which was existing prior to excavation, unless the City Engineer deems another material to be appropriate.
SIDEWALK AREA
That portion of the street right-of-way reserved for sidewalks or that area defined on the City Plan.
SQUARE YARD
Surface space that measures out to the equivalent of a square one yard (three feet) wide by one yard (three feet) long. There are nine square feet to a square yard.
[Added 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
STREET
The entire right-of-way established for the use of vehicles, including, but not limited to any public street, avenue, road, square, alley, highway, or easement within the City limits, excluding the designated curb and sidewalk area.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 301 et seq.
It shall be unlawful for any person to open or to make any excavation of any kind in any of the streets in the City of Scranton unless a permit has been secured for said purpose and in the manner hereinafter described, except in instances which require the placement of utility poles.
A. 
Any person who desires to obtain a permit to open or to make any excavation of any kind in any of the streets in the City of Scranton shall be a licensed contractor by the City of Scranton.
[Amended 7-12-1995 by Ord. No. 111-1995]
B. 
Upon completion of a street paving/resurfacing project by any entity, the City of Scranton will not allow the street to be excavated for any reason for five years, except for emergency situations. (This includes any and all activities defined as upgrades, improvements and/or maintenance to utility systems.) Permits will not be issued to any entity that is desirous in conducting excavations on a street within a five-year period following a paving/resurfacing of City streets.
[Added 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
C. 
Any person working in the vicinity of any City street who in any manner disturbs such street or who in any manner causes damage to a street shall be required by this article to obtain a permit and correct this damage in accordance with the directives of the Department. Street opening permits are not required for persons excavating adjacent to the curb for the express purpose of installing or replacing sidewalks and/or curbs, provided a curb and sidewalk permit has been obtained prior to such work through the Department of Licensing, Inspections and Permitting.
[Amended 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
D. 
All City departments and City corporate authorities shall not be required to obtain a permit when work is to be completed by City personnel.
[Amended 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
E. 
All contractors or subcontractors performing work under contract for the City, City corporate authority, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the federal government shall obtain a permit for street excavation work.
[Amended 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
F. 
Any person who shall desire to make an opening or excavation in any PennDOT street within the City limits shall obtain a permit from the City in addition to obtaining a permit from PennDOT. The PennDOT permit may be obtained from the offices of Maintenance District 4-0, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, O'Neill Highway, Dunmore, Pennsylvania, 18512. In the case of any leak, explosion or other accident in any subsurface pipe, line, construction or apparatus, it shall be lawful for the person owning or responsible for such pipe, line, construction or apparatus to commence an excavation to remedy such condition before securing a permit, provided that application for a permit shall be made immediately and not later than the next business day thereafter and that all other provisions of this article are fully complied with.
[Amended 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
Street opening permits shall only be granted upon compliance with the following express provisions:
A. 
Permits shall be issued only to a person or their authorized agent furnishing public utility services or the owner or owners of the real property adjoining the location where such opening or excavation is to be made.
B. 
Any person who shall desire to make any opening or excavation in any of the streets in the City shall make application to the City Engineer, in writing, for that purpose. Such application shall be made upon blanks to be furnished by the City and shall set forth the name of the applicant, the exact location of the proposed opening or excavation and the approximate size or depth thereof, the full scope of work to be included in the project, the date or dates during which such excavation is to be permitted and the date such excavation is to be refilled and resurfaced in the manner hereinafter provided. An applicant shall furnish a drawing of the proposed opening site upon request by the City Engineer.
C. 
The application shall contain an agreement on the part of the applicant that the work shall be done in full compliance with the ordinances of the City and the laws of the commonwealth in relation thereto and that the applicant shall well and truly save, defend and keep harmless the City from and indemnify it against any and all actions, suits, demands, payments, costs and charges for or by reason of the proposed opening or excavation and all damages to persons or property resulting in any manner therefrom or occurring in the prosecution of the work connected therewith or from any other matter, cause or thing relating thereto. In the event that the suit shall be brought against the City either independently or jointly with the permittee, and in the event of a final judgment being obtained against the City either independently or jointly with the permittee, the permittee shall pay such judgment with all costs and hold the City harmless therefrom.
D. 
In any instance where the street opening permit is required for water supply and/or sewer service purposes, the application shall be countersigned by the City Plumbing Inspector or any person authorized by the City Plumbing Inspector before any permit shall be granted.
E. 
An applicant shall provide all necessary certificates of insurance to the Department, which have been properly executed by the applicant's insurance agency, and verify that the applicant is insured against claims for personal injury as well as against claims for property damages which may arise from or out of the performance of the excavation work, whether such performance be by the applicant or anyone directly or indirectly employed by him. The City shall be named as an additional insured by any applicant, including but not limited to utilities operating water, gas, electric or telephone facilities within the City. Such insurance shall include protection against liability arising from completed operations, underground utility damage and collapse of any property. Liability insurance for bodily injury shall be in an amount not less than $1,000,000 for each person and $1,000,000 for each accident and for property damages an amount not less than $1,000,000. If an insurance certificate is not provided as required, a permit shall not be issued. Evidence of insurance for public liability and property damage shall not be applicable to any excavation work carried on by the City or its employees or utilities operating water, gas, electric or telephone facilities within the City. Liability insurance requirements for any blasting may be obtained from the Department. All blasting permits shall be obtained from the Department.
F. 
Any applicant issued a permit shall remit the street opening permit fee in the amount fixed by this article in Subsection H and any and all other fees associated with the street opening by the 10th of the month following the month in which the permit was issued.
G. 
No permit shall be issued to any applicant unless the applicant has paid to the City any and all moneys, then due to the City, for prior excavations made or for any loss, damages or expense in any manner occasioned by or arising from the work done by the applicant under the provisions of this article.
H. 
Street opening permit fee. Any person who desires to do any street opening or excavation of a street shall pay the sum of $125 plus inspection fees. Any street opening or excavation shall be computed to the nearest whole square yard of excavation for purposes of computing the inspection fee. See Table 1 for the inspection fee schedule.
[Amended 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
I. 
The work authorized by the permit is subject to all provisions of the Act of December 10, 1974, P.L. 852, No. 287, § 1 et seq.,[1] as amended or supplemented from time to time. It shall be the permittee's responsibility to contact the utilities that have recorded their facilities in compliance with said Act. A partial list of utilities providing services in the City and their office addresses may be obtained from the County Recorder of Deeds.
[Amended 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
[1]
Editor's Note: This Act was repealed December 12, 1986, by P.L. 1574, No. 172. See now 73 P.S. § 182.2 et seq.
J. 
Inspections documentation. The City of Scranton shall create and maintain appropriate documentation as a work order inspection tracking ticket. This document shall be issued to the City Inspector when a permit is issued by the City of Scranton and shall be maintained for compliance by the Department of Public Works and the City Inspectors as assigned to perform the required activity. This document shall be in effect until the work is completed and accepted by the agent/inspector of the City of Scranton.
[Added 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
K. 
Copies of permits and work order inspection tracking tickets shall be issued and maintained by the Department of Public Works. Each permit and work order inspection tracking ticket shall be maintained for no less than seven years. Each permit issued shall be maintained together with its work order inspection tracking ticket following the completion of work and inspection.
[Added 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
[Amended 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
The Department of Public Works shall give timely notice to all persons owning property abutting on any street within the City about to be paved or improved and to all public utility companies operating in the City, and all such persons and utility companies shall make all water, gas or sewer connections, as well as any repairs thereto, which would necessitate excavation of said street within 30 days from the giving of such notice, unless such time is extended, in writing, for cause shown by the Department of Public Works. New paving shall not be opened or excavated for a period of five years after the completion thereof, except in the case of an emergency, the existence of which emergency and the necessity for the opening or excavation of such paving to be determined by the Department of Public Works. Any person who desires to excavate a street for a utility within five years after completion of the paving shall make written application to the Department of Public Works, and a permit for such opening shall be issued only after express approval of the Department of Public Works and City's Business Administrator.
[Amended 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
A. 
Any person who shall open or excavate any street in the City shall thoroughly and completely refill the opening or excavation in such a manner as to prevent any settling thereafter and shall restore the surface to the same condition as it was before the opening or excavation, and such restoration shall be in accordance with the specifications of the Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which are hereby adopted as specifications of the City for restoration of surfaces of streets in the City; as restored, the surface shall conform to the proper grade and be of the same surface covering as the part of the thoroughfare immediately adjoining the opening. Any street or court that has received bituminous resurfacing (paving) within a five-year period shall be milled to a depth of 1.5 inches and resurfaced with appropriate material with (scratch leveling course) and (wearing course 1 1/2 inches) depth curb to curb and 10 feet beyond the farthest point of the pave cut edge in any direction by any person who shall open or excavate any street or court for any purposes; this includes emergency-related work. All restoration work shall be completed within and no later than 30 days from the day recorded for the excavation.
B. 
Trenching excavations in lengths equal to the road surface and in parallel or otherwise to the road surface shall have the same restoration requirements as for pave cuts above for the manner of completion.
C. 
If any street or court with a surface area older than five years has more than 10% of disturbance in the surface area of any one City block limits following any excavation, the road surface shall have the same restoration requirements as for pave cuts above for the manner of completion. If two pave cuts are made less than 100 feet apart, the entire area between the two pave cuts and including the two pave cuts shall be milled and resurfaced as described above for a width of 1/2 the street/court width (i.e., nearest curb to center line). If the repair excavation crosses the center line of the street/court, then the mill and resurfacing shall be for the full width of the street/court (curb to curb) for the entire length of the work area.
D. 
If, within five years after the restoration of the surface as herein provided, defects shall appear, the applicant shall reimburse the City for the cost of all necessary repairs to the permanent paving or, as directed by the City of Scranton, may be required to reconstruct the road surface of the pave cut area to meet compliance.
E. 
Pavement markings. Any person who shall open or excavate any street/court in the City shall thoroughly and completely replace all pavement markings to their preexisting condition within five days following the resurfacing of the street/court.
A. 
No opening or excavation in any street shall extend from the curbline into the street a distance greater than one foot beyond the center line of the street before being refilled and the surface of the street restored to a condition safe and convenient for travel.
B. 
No more than 500 feet longitudinally shall be opened in any street at any one time.
C. 
The work of excavation shall be so conducted as not to interfere with the water mains, sewers or their connections with the houses or any other subsurface lines or constructions until permission of the proper authorities in connection with such subsurface lines or constructions shall have been obtained.
D. 
Disturbed portions of the street, including but not limited to slopes and appurtenances and structures, such as guiderails, curbs, signs, markings, drainpipes, driveways and vegetation, shall be restored by the permittee to a condition at least equal to that which existed before the state of work.
E. 
If the permittee opens pavement having a bituminous concrete surface, the permittee shall, in addition to the requirements contained herein, overlay the pavement in accordance with the following conditions:
[Amended 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
(1) 
When a longitudinal opening longer than 100 linear feet has been made in the pavement, the permittee shall overlay the lane or lanes in which the opening was made, for the entire length of roadway that was opened, curb to curb, in a manner authorized by the Department of Public Works.
(2) 
When three or more transverse openings have been made in the same lane within 100 linear feet of pavement and when the openings occupy more than 25% of the road surface between the openings, the permittee shall overlay the lane or lanes in which the openings were made, for the entire length of roadway between the first and last opening, curb to curb.
(3) 
If disturbed lanes adjacent to undisturbed lanes are overlaid, the edge of the disturbed lane shall be saw-cut and milled to a depth of 2.25 inches or to the depth of the existing surface course, whichever is less, for the length of the opening, to ensure a smooth joint, with proper elevation and cross section. A full-width overlay will be required if the undisturbed lane is severely deteriorated as determined by the Department of Public Works.
(4) 
If disturbed lanes adjacent to curbs are overlaid, the gutter areas must be milled at least three feet wide to maintain proper curb reveal for the length of roadway that is overlaid.
F. 
No tunneling shall be allowed without the express approval of the Department of Public Works and permission therefor endorsed upon the permit. The backfilling of a tunnel excavation shall be made only in the presence of the Department of Public Works, or an inspector designated by it, and shall be done only in a method approved by him.
[Amended 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
G. 
All openings or excavations shall be backfilled immediately with excavatable flowable fill or select granular material (2RC). The materials, mix design and construction shall conform to the specifications below.
[Amended 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
(1) 
Excavatable flowable fill shall be in accordance with Section 220, Flowable Backfill, of PennDOT's Publication 408, most current edition.
(2) 
Select granular material (2RC) shall be in accordance with Section 703.3, Select Granular Material (2RC), of PennDOT's Publication 408, most current edition. If 2RC backfill is used, the pavement restoration will include eight inches of bituminous base course. The bituminous base course shall be in accordance with Section 309 or 311 of PennDOT's Publication 408, most current edition.
H. 
No temporary paving or cold-patch premix used as a temporary filling in a street opening or an excavation shall be permitted (unless dictated by weather and availability). Permanent paving shall be installed immediately after the excavatable flowable fill has set or the select granular material (2RC) has been properly placed.
I. 
On concrete base streets, such base shall be replaced with concrete, and the minimum size of the opening or excavation shall be 16 square feet. During the making of any excavation in the street, every necessary and reasonable precaution shall be taken by the applicant and the parties making the same to keep the street in a safe and passable condition both day and night by guards, barriers, lanterns and other devices, and all excavating permits granted hereunder are granted under and subject to the express condition that the person to whom the same is issued shall indemnify, save and keep harmless the City from any loss in damages, or otherwise whatsoever, which may or shall be occasioned at any time by said excavation or by any leak, explosion, or other injury from any pipe, apparatus, conduit or any other matter placed in said excavation. Said excavation shall be done in conformity with Ordinance No. 20-1992, whereby the City requires that all utility and construction/maintenance work done on streets, roads, and alleys in the City of Scranton and all utility, construction, or maintenance work done within state highway rights-of-way be done in accordance with Temporary Traffic Control Guidelines, PennDOT Publication 203, and any and all amendments and supplements thereto.
J. 
The applicant shall notify the Pave Cut Inspector when the opening or excavation is ready for backfilling before any backfilling is done, when backfilling work is completed and when the street has been permanently restored so that inspections may be made.
K. 
In the event that any work performed by or for a permit holder shall, in the opinion of the Department of Public Works, be unsatisfactory, and the same shall not be corrected in accordance with its instructions within the time fixed by it, or in the event that the work for which the permit was granted is not completed within the time fixed by the Department of Public Works, the City may proceed to correct such unsatisfactory work or complete any such work not completed and charge the cost thereof, plus 20%, to such owner or person.
Payment for all work done by the City of Scranton under the provisions hereof shall be made by the person made liable therefor under the provisions hereof within 30 days after a bill therefor is sent to such person by the City of Scranton. Upon failure to pay such charges within such time, the same shall be collectible by the City of Scranton by an action in assumpsit or in the manner provided by law for the collection of municipal claims.
If any person shall fail, refuse or neglect to comply with the provisions of this article or any rules or regulations or any reasonable orders or directions of a City representative in reference thereto, the City may refuse to issue further permits to such person until such conditions or orders are complied with.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of no more than $1,000 and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days. Every day that a violation of this article continues shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
A. 
The provisions of this article shall not apply to laying sidewalks or curbs.
B. 
The City of Scranton reserves the right to deny the issuance of future street opening permits to any person or entity who violates the provisions of this article.
[Added 6-4-2015 by Ord. No. 102-2015]
Table 1
Inspection Fees
Inspection rate of fee in dollars per square yard of streets constructed, reconstructed or resurfaced. Inspection rates are applied to all permits issued, including all emergency situations or approved exceptions.
Total Square Yards to Be Excavated
Inspection Fee
1
$50
2
$75
3
$100
4
$125
5
$150
6
$160
7
$170
8
$180
9
$190
10-11
$198
12-13
$216
14-15
$234
16-17
$252
18-19
$270
20-21
$288
22-23
$306
24-25
$324
26-27
$342
28-29
$360
30-34
$396
35-39
$438
40-44
$477
45-49
$516
50-54
$552
55-59
$588
60-69
$624
70-79
$855
80-89
$765
90-99
$822
100
$846
101
$858
Greater than 101
$846 + $12 per square yard over 100
NOTES:
The number of square yards of excavation shall be computed to the nearest whole square yard. The minimum fee shall be equal to the fee for one square yard.