Question? Problem? Need Help? Dial 3-1-1

Learn how SWEEP keeps Philadelphia clean through education and enforcement.
Learn about the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee (PMBC), and what they are doing to keep our streets clean and safe.

Process for Privately Constructed Streets

Developers may desire to construct a street as part of their development work and then have the City take over responsibility for maintaining that street. The City has a specific process for taking responsibility for privately paved streets. There are six major steps involving the Streets Department. Some can be done concurrently; others may not start until previous steps are completed. The following are the contacts for the various steps: 

  Lead Contract
City Plan Change Process City Plans Officer
Conceptual & Final Engineering Plans Projects Control Engineer
ADA Curb Ramp Approvals Projects Control Engineer & ADA Coordinator
Paving Agreement, Bidding & Bonds Process Contracts Engineer
Permitting Permits Officer
Survey Services Survey Bureau Manager
Notice to Proceed Issuance, Construction, Inspection
and Acceptance of the Street
Highway Construction Engineer

The process and the responsibilities of the developer and the City are outlined on this web page.

Developers should not start construction of the street without complying with every step of this process!

Developer's Activities City's Activities
1. The developer has a project where a private street will be constructed and the developer would like to turn that street over to the city upon completion. The developer must contact the City Planning Commission and submit a site plan 1. The City Planning Commission submits the plans to the Board of Review. The committee includes representatives of the Streets Department. The City Planning Commission also notifies the Survey Bureau Manager and the City Plans Officer of the request to place on the City Plan and dedication of a certain street.
2. The developer submits a conceptual plan to the Projects Control Engineer. 2. The City Plans Officer directs the developer to submit a conceptual plan to the Projects Control Engineer. The engineer reviews the conceptual plan, coordinates with the City Plans, Traffic Engineering, and Highway units at his discretion, and submits comments to the developer.
  3. The City Plans Unit develops a study plan showing the area of concern and where the street is going to be placed. A copy of this plan is submitted to all involved parties.
  4. The Survey Bureau Manager drafts an ordinance for City Council that will place the street on the City Plan and dedicate the street to the City. An ordinance to pave the street is also included.
5. While the ordinances are pending, the developer may come to the Permits office and request that the Permits Officer sign off on zoning and building permits that the developer requested from Licenses & Inspections.

5. The Permits Officer places a notice on the plan indicating that the Streets Department approves the project with the condition that no building permits are issued until all pending ordinances have passed City Council.

6. While the ordinances are pending, the developer may send twelve (12) copies of the paving plan to the Projects Control Engineer. The developer is responsible for obtaining utility clearances.

6. The Projects Control Engineer submits the paving plan to the following agencies for review:

  • Highway Construction Engineer
  • Relevant Highway District
  • Relevant Survey District
  • Traffic Engineering Division
  • Street Lighting Division
  • Fairmount Park Commission
  • City Plans Officer
  • Utilities (PECO, PGW, PWD, Verizon)
  7. The Projects Control Engineer coordinates with the above agencies, compiles comments and submits revisions to the developer.
8. The developer incorporates the changes and submits two (2) copies of the revised plan to the Projects Control Engineer.

8. The engineer circulates the plan for final review and approval. The plan is not approved until the City Plan and paving ordinances have passed City Council. ADA curb ramp designs must also be approved by the Projects Control Engineer and the Streets Department ADA Coordinator before final approvals of the plan.
Click here for additional information for ADAcurb ramp designs and as built inspections
Click here to view the Regulations Governing Construction of ADA-Compliant Ramps

  9. The Projects Control Engineer submits a letter of approval to the developer directing them to contact the Contract Unit to start the private paving agreement process

10. The developer contacts the Contract Unit as soon as their engineering plans are approved by the Projects Control Engineer to start the Paving Agreement and Bidding Process. The developer provides a full list of all construction items and quantities; estimated number of construction days for roadway work; and a copy of the surveys cost estimate to the Contracts Officer.


NOTE: There is a fixed survey cost and a per diem inspection cost that the developer must pay. Those costs are listed in the Highway Work Proposal

10. The Contract Unit will develop a Highway Work Proposal of all items for bidding purposes. The Contract Unit will send out a developer letter that details the steps of the process as well as the private paving package. The package will include the following documents:

  • Proposal for Private Paving Cover Sheet
  • Highway Work Proposal Items and Unit Price Bid
  • Paving Application
  • Labor & Materialsmen Bond
  • Performance Bond
  • Compensation Affidavit
  • Five Year Maintenance Bond as per City Code, Chapter 11-500 (developer and contractor must decide who will be responsible). 

In some cases a Letter of Credit may be used in lieu of a Maintenance Bond. Click here for information on the requirements for a letter of credit.
  • Sample Paving Agreement
11. The developer signs and returns the Paving Application, Highway Work Proposal, and Letter of Agreement to use City Approved Paving Contractors.

11. Upon receipt of these documents, the Contract Unit will contact the Law Department to start drafting the paving agreement. The Contract Unit will review and accept submitted bids. Bid amount will be used to determine Performance and Maintenance Bond amounts. A copy of the draft agreement will be sent to the developer in the event it is needed to secure bonding.

12. The developer secures the Labor & Materialsmen Bond, Performance Bond, Compensation Affidavit, and Maintenance Bond and sends them to the Contract Unit. 12. When the Contract Unit receives all of the necessary bonds, the paving agreement will be sent to the developer for signatures.
13. The developer sends the signed paving agreement back to the Contract Unit for execution. 13. The Contract Unit will have the City Plans Officer, Highway Construction Engineer, and Chief Highway Engineer certify and sign the Paving Application. Note that the City Plan change process (plan, ordinance, and agreement) must be completed by this time in order for the City Plans Officer to sign off on the Paving Application. Then the agreement will be conformed, and an executed agreement letter will be sent to the developer and contractor.
  14. The Highway Construction Engineer will send out a Notice to Proceed to the developer.
  15. An inspector will be assigned to inspect the project. The relevant Highway District Engineer and Highway Construction Engineer will formally accept the street after the construction is completed. The street will not be accepted if the construction does not comply with the plans and specifications. The street will also not be accepted by the City if this Paving Approval Process is not properly completed. A formal inspection and approval of any ADA curb ramps must be submitted and approved before the street is accepted. Click here for additional information for ADA curb ramp designs and as built inspections.
  16. The five year maintenance bond will become effective upon the completion and acceptance of the street.

City of Philadelphia Contacts

City Planning Commission (215) 683-4615
City Plans Officer (215) 686-5636
Projects Control Engineer (215) 686-5524
Contracts Engineer (215) 686-5512
Permits Officer (215) 686-5503/5525
Survey Bureau Manager (215) 686-5540
Highway Construction Engineer (215) 686-5506
ADA Coordinator:  (215) 686-5511