Working in the Right-of-Way

What is the Right-of-Way?
The right-of-way generally extends 11 feet from the back of curb or edge of street pavement towards the adjacent property in residential areas. Larger roadways may have larger right-of-way areas.
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Rules & Maintenance
While this area is owned by the City of Liberty, by ordinance it is to be maintained by the property owner. The City has the right to use and regulate what happens in this area. For example, unapproved signs, sight obstructions, and basketball goals are not allowed. City Code Enforcement removes illegal signs from the right-of-way. Sidewalks are placed in the right-of-way for safe passage of pedestrian traffic. 

Work Permit
A 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
  • Other repairs
Fee & Permit Expiration
The fee for permit and inspection of right-of-way work is $45 and is issued through the office of the City Engineer; the permit shall expire after 60 days from the date of issuance.

Processing Time
Allow at least 24 hours for permit processing.

All persons and entities maintaining, constructing, or installing facilities are required to 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 January 25, 2010 and revised January 28, 2013. Section 25-39 of 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.

By City ordinance passed January 28, 2013, the term of the performance and maintenance bond has been revised to 2 years from the previous 4-year term requirement. Contractors may provide a $50,000 annual bond good for all right-of-way work for the calendar year, or a $5,000 permit specific bond.

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 passed January 28, 2013, 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 by the City.
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 on their property are interfering with traffic safety. For information on sight obstructions, contact the City Engineer's Office.
Utilities & Easements
What Are Utility Easements? 
A utility easement may or may not be in the right-of-way. These are areas where the utility (i.e.,  gas company, power utility, cable company, etc.) has permission to enter a property to install and maintain utility facilities.
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Physical Utility Location
Before digging in the right-of-way or in your own yard, you are required to contact the appropriate parties for utility line locations. This is to ensure the utilities are identified so that an appropriate distance may be maintained during excavation for the safety of all. Those parties are DIG RITE (800-344-7483) and City of Liberty Water and Sewer Division, 816-439-4514. Both of these parties will need 3 working days notification prior to digging.

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
KCP&L Electric Power Lines
816-471-KCPL (5275) or
888-471-KCPL (5275)
BP Pipeline
Gasoline Pipeline
City of Liberty
Water and Sewer Lines
Missouri Gas Energy
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
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