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Engineering Division

City Engineer
William C. Bombard, P.E.,

Seven individuals working under the direction of the Chief Engineer staff the Engineering Division of DPW. The Engineering Division is responsible for reviewing site plans for new construction and reconstruction throughout the City and provides the Department of Inspection and Standards with an approval prior to their issuing a building permit. Prior to issuing this approval, a representative of the Engineering Division reviews in-house records and conducts a field examination of the property. Following completion of construction, another field examination is conducted and the Department of Inspection and Standards is advised as to whether the required site work was completed in accordance to the approved plan. The Engineering Division participated in a City-wide program for one-stop permitting of development projects, which resulted in the issuance of a new Permitting Handbook. The next phase of this program will be a web-based application that supports the electronic submission of plans.

The Engineering Division has expanded its in-house design capabilities and has added a CAD draftsperson to assist in these endeavors. In an effort to reduce waste, this office has converted to electronic media and no longer distributes paper copies of bidding documents.

Engineering services are provided for work proposed by DPW, the City Council, other City Departments, or other public or private projects. The Division provides assistance to the Law Department with the investigation and review of claims against the City.

Engineering staff review planned utility work and issue permits for the installation/repair of utilities within the public right-of-way.

Engineering staff also review and issue Physical Alteration Permits (PAP) for work within the public right-of-way, including alteration of curbs and sidewalks for driveways.

This office issues permits for connections, as well as extensions, alterations, and modifications to the sewer system. All sewer work is inspected to insure compliance with City standards; field measurements are taken to update records maintained by this office. In addition to the permitting process, the Engineering Office issues Drain Layers Licenses.

The Engineering Division assists the Board of Licenses with the issuance of table and chair licenses on the public sidewalk. Field inspections are performed and recommendations are made regarding the area available for use without adversely impacting pedestrian movements.

The Engineering Division is the custodian of all engineering records for City Public Works infrastructure including sewers, street lines, benchmarks, highway sections and other archival records - many of these original documents including plans and field books date to the early 1900's and some to the 1850's. The staff accommodates inquiries from the public to acquire these records, photocopy services are provided. The Engineering Division maintains records related to survey layout of lots at the North Burial Ground. DPW staff is utilizing data bases to store and process information related to road opening permits, site plans, and sidewalk repair requests. DPW installed an on-site server that has significantly increased data processing capabilities. With the acquisition of a document scanner, records are being converted to digital images. These images will be geo-coded and incorporated into a Geographic Information System (GIS) database.

The Engineering Division prepares plans for abandonment of road and other public property, as well as plans for easements within the public ways. As well as being made part of the permanent records maintained by Engineering, these plans are used by the City Clerk's office.

The Engineering Division also maintains a database of requests for new sidewalks. We also participate in the City's QAlert® Citizen Service Request program.

In addition to traditional engineering functions, this group was responsible for the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier (Barrier). Although Section 2853 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2007, provides for the transfer of the Hurricane Barrier to Army Corps of Engineers (COE) on or before October 1, 2008, it did occur this Year.

The Engineering Division is responsible for coordinating the City's Storm Water Management Plan in conformance with the requirements of Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (RIPDES).


Letter of Approval

Owners Authorization

Permit Fees

Road Opening Permit

Sewer Permit

Sidewalk Contractor License Application

Sidewalk Contractor License Notice


700 Allens Avenue
Providence, RI 02905

Phone: (401) 467-7950
Hearing Impaired: TDD 831-4327
Illegal Dumping Hotline: 941-3478
Environmental Enforcement: 467-7950

Monday thru Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

Summer Hours
Monday thru Friday 8:30am to 4:00pm

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