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Public utility companies and private contractors who open or occupy public ways in the course of their business have an obligation to act responsibly to residents, businesses and travelers in the City of Malden who depend upon the use of these ways in the course of their daily lives. To protect the public from the effects of improper backfilling, poor patching, careless plating and unsightly debris remaining at completed projects, the following standards are adopted to protect against potential abuses of the necessary and lawful excavation of public ways.


1. Excavation Permit

No person, corporation or other entity shall excavate, dig up, open or disturb the pavement or ground in any street, sidewalk, lane or highway without the written consent of the Director of Public Works, as designee of the City Council under Mass. General Laws Chapters 164 through 166A; provided that the Public Works Director may, in his discretion, refer any application for an excavation permit to the City Council.

The Director of Public Works and City Engineer shall annually in January generate a list of streets whose wearing surface maintains above average structural integrity. Said list shall include but not be limited to any street with pavement five (5) years or less in age. No permit shall be issued to break the pavement on any street included on said list; provided that the Director of Public Works may issue a permit when, in his opinion, the immediate health, safety or convenience of the public requires that the pavement be opened. The age of any pavement shall be determined from the date of final acceptance of its construction, reconstruction or repair. In the event that said pavement is broken, the permittee may be required to replace the pavement structure from curb to curb and/or intersection to intersection by cold planing, resurfacing wearing surface, and all items necessary to repair, as ordered by the Director of Public Works.

Applications for an excavation permit shall be accompanied by the following:

(a) a non-refundable application fee of $.30/square foot or $60.00 (sixty) dollars, whichever is greater;

(b) a performance bond in the amount of five thousand ($5,000.00) dollars;

(c) a certificate of general liability insurance in the amount of one million ($1,000,000.00) dollars naming the City of Malden as loss payee;

(d) a plan showing the location, dimensions, details, profiles and sections of all work to be performed; (e) the name and telephone number of such person or persons who will be responsible to act in the event of an


(f) for installation of sewer, water and drain lines, written authorization from the City Engineer's Office

Excavations performed by the City of Malden and its employees shall be exempt from permit, fee and insurance requirements.

Prior to the commencement of any work under an excavation permit, the permittee shall submit proof to the Director of Public Works that notification of the intent to excavate has been given to Digsafe and to the police, fire and water departments of the city.

The Director shall include on each permit the times and dates on which work may be done, and such other conditions as he deems appropriate to the preservation of the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the city.

Emergency excavations shall be made only under the following conditions:

(a) that notification and permit application be made to the Department of Public Works on the business day next succeeding the day of the emergency;

(b) that restoration, as described in Paragraph 2., be completed contemporaneous to excavation.

Failure to comply with the terms or conditions of any permit or city ordinance shall result in revocation or amendment of said permit. Any person, corporation or other entity who excavates without a permit shall be punished by cancellation of all existing permits, license revocation and shall be fined in the manner provided by Mass. General Laws Chapter 41 Section 21D.

2. Restoration Permit

Each applicant for an excavation permit shall apply for and obtain a permit for restoration of said excavation. Restoration permits shall be issued upon payment a fee as determined from time to time by the Public Works Commission or its designee; provided that fees shall be waived when a permittee has been ordered by the Director of Public Works to make permanent restoration.

The permit holder shall restore the excavation with a temporary patch of bituminous concrete binder to the elevation of the wearing surface and, on street restorations, shall apply tack coat to the bituminous concrete sidewall perimeter, and shall seal all joints between the existing pavement and the temporary patch. The permit holder shall maintain said temporary patch until permanent repair has been made.


Except as modified by city ordinance, all construction materials, methods and workmanship will conform to the standards set forth in the most recent edition of Massachusetts Department of Public Works Standard Specifications for Highway and Bridges.

2. Excavation shall be limited to the area defined in the permit and shall not encroach upon any construction undertaken by the City of Malden or its agents; provided that, if such encroachment is deemed necessary by the Director of Public Works, the utility shall make restoration in a manner agreed upon by the City or its agent.

3. The permit holder shall take all necessary and proper precautions to protect against damage to private property.

4. The permit holder shall replace all accouterments to the roadway, including but not limited to conduits, manholes, catch basins, trees, and fences.

5. The permit holder shall take all necessary and proper precautions to protect against personal injury and must maintain adequate rights of way for vehicular and pedestrian traffic throughout the course of the project. Said rights of way shall be clearly defined by barricades and sufficiently lighted to insure public safety.

6. At the end of each workday, full vehicular and pedestrian access shall be restored. In lieu of back filling, a permit holder may, with the approval of the Director of Public Works, restore access by placement of steel plates over the excavated area.

7. The permit holder shall display excavation and restoration permits at the construction site throughout the course of the project.

8. No excavation or restoration permit shall be issued for work to be commenced between November 15 and April 1 in any year; provided that excavation will be permitted on an emergency basis to correct any condition which endangers life or property or as approved by the Director of Public Works. Any excavation or restoration work completed between these dates shall be done in accordance with all other provisions of this ordinance.

9. Excavation sites shall be maintained in a clean and safe condition at all times, and streets and sidewalks shall be cleaned at the end of each workday.

C. CONSTRUCTION PROCEDURES - EXCAVATION AND BACKFILL 1. The Public Works Commission or its designee shall review construction plans and drawings and shall note on the permit the parameters of the excavation and whether an inspection will be required. The permit holder shall notify the Department of Public Works no less than 24 hours prior to the scheduled excavation and shall provide an estimated time for the commencement of backfill and shall verify the name and telephone number of an emergency contact person.

2. Before excavation is commenced, a rectangular cut shall be made in the pavement for entire perimeter to be excavated. Said cut shall be made by saw cutting, pneumatic chisel or hydraulic chisel to the full depth of the existing pavement.

3. Shoring and/or bracing shall be required for all excavations where the excavated material is sufficiently unstable as to cause cave-in or settlement of the roadway. Settlement caused by failure to properly shore or brace an excavation shall be repaired at the expense of the permit holder.

4. Surplus or unacceptable excavated material shall be removed from the site immediately. Proper disposal of hazardous materials, including bituminous concrete, shall be the responsibility of the permit holder.

5. Backfill material shall be gravel borrow, processed gravel or Controlled Density Fill; provided that the Director of Public Works may require that Controlled Density Fill (CDF) be substituted for compacted gravel.

6. Compaction shall be performed in lifts not to exceed 8 inches; provided that the depth of any lift shall be determined by the type of compacting tool and the gravel type, as defined in the Massachusetts Standard Specifications for Bridges and Highways and the Department of Telecommunications and Energy. Each lift shall be compacted by mechanical means to 95% of maximum dry density.

Compacted material shall meet the lower elevation of the pavement structure. Pavement structure shall include bituminous concrete, concrete, cobblestones or similar paving material. Infusion of water into a gravel base, commonly known as "puddling", shall not be an accepted method of compaction.

7. All leak detection or drilling holes shall be filled in lifts with gravel filler, compacted to the lower elevation of the pavement structure and covered with a poured sealant to the upper elevation of the pavement structure. Except in cases of settlement, this repair shall be considered permanent.

8. The permit holder shall be responsible for settlement in or adjacent to the original excavated area for a period of three (3) years from the date of the final accepted permanent repair or, if backfilled with Controlled Density Fill, for a period of one (1) year from the date of the final accepted permanent repair. Any settlement of an excavation shall be corrected by the City of Malden at the expense of the permit holder.


The permit holder shall backfill, compact and apply a temporary patch to all excavations. The City of Malden, through its Department of Public Works or its agents, shall permanently repair all excavations.

2. Temporary patches shall be made by hot inlay of bituminous concrete base course to a thickness not less than four inches.

3. Prior to restoration, the perimeter of the excavated area shall be cut back no less than twelve (12) inches in straight lines, with ninety (90) degree angles at the point of intersection to such depth as to expose an undisturbed gravel base. The vertical face of the pavement cuts shall be thoroughly cleaned, particularly at the corners. Computation of restoration fees shall be based on the dimensions of the excavation after said cutback. Excavations or restoration cutbacks within two (2) feet of the curb and/or edge of the pavement shall be extended to the pavement edge prior to temporary repair.

4. Street accouterments, including but not limited to manholes, catch basins and gate boxes, shall be set and leveled to existing pavement surfaces.

5. In roadways, the permit holder shall install a temporary bituminous concrete patch to the full depth of the excavated pavement surface. Said patch shall be compacted by mechanical means and joint sealed. In sidewalks, the permit holder shall install a level bituminous pavement patch. The permit holder shall maintain all temporary patches in a safe and passable manner, as determined by the Director of Public Works, until permanent repair is made by the City of Malden. To allow adequate time for settlement, the City of Malden will not undertake permanent repair of any excavation for a period of not less than one year from the date of installation of a temporary patch; provided that the schedule for permanent repair may be altered by order of the City Council or the Director of Public Works.

6. If settlement occurs in leak detection, test pits or core holes, the City will cut and restore up to the full pavement depth for an acceptable width and one foot in excess of the length of the entire test area. Additional restoration costs for repair of leak detection, test pits and core holes will be borne by the permit holder.


1. Except as permitted by the Director of Public Works, payment for excavation and restoration permits shall be made at the time of permit application.

2. With the approval of the Director, a permit holder may be billed on a monthly basis for all permits issued during the preceding month. Such monthly bill shall be paid within 30 days of issuance and failure to do so will result in a service charge of one and one-half (1.5) per cent per month for all past due invoices.

3. Failure to pay obligations when due may result in the loss of deposit, assessment of fines, revocation of existing permits, denial of future permits, attachment of bonds, and accrued service charges, and assessment of collection costs and attorney fees, if any.

4. If an account is determined to be uncollectible, the city may place a lien upon such real estate in the manner provided by Sections 42A to 42F of Chapter 40 of the General Laws, as amended.


If any section or provision of this ordinance is held invalid by any court, the same shall not affect any other section or provision, except in so far as the section or provision deemed invalid is inseparable for the remainder.