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Work within the Right-of-Way

Posted on September 25, 2020

The Department of Public Works issues encroachment permits for many projects. These are online at and more information on the individual permits can be viewed within the City’s permitting system

We would like to highlight some notable projects, currently underway and upcoming which will have a larger impact on City streets and neighborhoods.


Bret Harte and Southern San Rafael Area

PG&E – Televising of utility lines in the areas where recent construction occurred. This is a follow up to the construction that resulted in a lot of various traffic control setups. Fortunately, there is less construction nearby and the duration will be short. However, residents should expect crews in the area soon. If issues are found during the investigations, some minor repairs may be necessary in order for PG&E to fully complete their work.



Fifth Avenue, from A Street to Grand

MMWD – This project is a waterline replacement and upgrade for fireflow service. The exact timeline for the work has yet not been determined, however we expect that this project will affect traffic along the east-west corridor for those who travel on 5th Ave. The Department of Public Works is reaching out to various utilities to determine if other work can be completed around or at the same time to limit the disruption.



Various Locations – North-South Corridor, generally near SMART

PG&E – This project is part of PG&E’s pipeline replacements. The project crosses multiple jurisdictions within Marin County and portion is within the City of San Rafael. This is part of PG&E’s effort to replace older distribution systems with modern new materials as part of their prevention measures for safety. Work is currently underway in northern San Rafael, with locations near the San Rafael Airport and Contempo Marin. Due to difficult soil conditions, construction hours will be extended to 12-hour days so that the project can get back on schedule. Additionally, we anticipate that there will be a few days coming in October, when crews will need to work around the clock. This is during a phase where once they commence the task, it is best to continue until it is complete. More precise notification will be communicated by PG&E when the dates are finalized.


Other Nightwork

PG&E has a couple other locations where work will be occurring at night. One location is at 5th and B Street, for gas and electric services. Another location is at Mission and Lincoln, this includes pole replacement with a new transformer, and likely gas and electric to be completed at a later time.

Ida Street

Development – A large crane will be set up in Ida Street which will require the road to be closed during work hours. This is for delivery and installation of modular construction units, that were pre-fabricated off-site. Oversized trucks will be arriving with the units which are then lifted into place. While the process goes very quickly, it will take 2-3 days to complete. The development team will reopen the road after hours, and specifically to minimize disruption during Dining Under the Lights. However the open portion of Ida Street will be narrow. The work is scheduled for the week of 10/5 or 10/12, with crane operations on Wed, Thu and possibly Fri. Please use alternate routes.


Holiday Moratorium

Mid November through New Year’s Weekend

To minimize disruption in the downtown commercial district, a Holiday Moratorium restriction to limit construction within the Right-of-Way. This is primarily for scheduled utility work which causes the most disturbance, however emergency repairs will be permitted, and the Department of Public Works will review other permit requests. If possible, we ask that if anyone is planning on doing work in the Right-of-Way to schedule it prior to or after the holiday season. Please note that this will not affect any of the outdoor dining, and retail permits or their related work.

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