Road Opening Licence

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You need a licence called a ‘Road Opening Licence’ to dig up a public road or footpath in Dublin City. 

Note: Before any work is carried out on a public road or footpath, the applicant must also obtain permission from Dublin City Council's Roadworks Control Unit and from the appropriate utilities (i.e. E.S.B., Bord Gais), regarding their services.

What is a Road Opening Licence?

  • A Road Opening Licence allows the holder to excavate a section of public road,
    i.e. carriageway / footway and associated grass verge
  • A Road Opening Licence will only be issued to the main contractor / developer.
    Road Opening Licences are not issued to private individuals, sub-contractors etc.

Request a Road Opening Licence

To get a licence to dig a road or footpath, follow these steps:

Step 1: Make sure you qualify for a licence

You qualify for a licence if you are:

  • A registered utility company, e.g. ESB, Bord Gáis, etc.
  • A main contractor for a utility or other company.

You do not qualify if you are:

  • A private individual.
  • A subcontractor.

Step 2: Contact other major utilities to request permission to dig

Contact all utilities who may have underground cables or services in the place you intend to dig:

Step 3: Complete the application form

Step 4: Return the form to us

Return your completed form to the address below.

Please include the following information:

  • 2 drawings of your proposed excavation.
  • A description of your proposed works and with dates.
  • A letter confirming you have a safety statement.
  • A letter from your insurer confirming you have minimum public liability insurance cover of €7 million.
  • If you are digging a connection to a sewer you need a letter of approval and a Drainage Licence from Dublin City Council’s Drainage Department.
  • The licence fee (see below).

The licence fee

The amount of the fee depends on the size of the hole and type of repair needed (see the application form for more details). We will evaluate your request. If your request is granted, you must adhere to the following rules:

  • You must pay us a  deposit that is equal to the cost of repairing the hole you make.
  • We will keep your  deposit for  a minimum of 2 years, in case any long-term damage to the road or path occurs.
  • Your  deposit  will be refunded to you  after written notification has been received from the applicant asking for the reinstatement to be taken in charge, providing your repair work has not degraded. The amount refunded to you will exclude the cost of any long-term damage to the road or path .
  • If your repairs fail,  the applicant must bring the reinstatement to Roads Maintenance standard before it can be taken in charge, and deposit returned. Otherwise, the deposit will be used to pay for the hole to be properly repaired  by Roads Maintenance .

All decisions on  deposit  refunds are made by the Road Maintenance Engineer.

Step 5: Contact us to request permission to dig

Contact the Roadworks Control Unit to request permission:

Roadworks Control Unit
Block 2, Floor 4
Civic Offices
Wood Quay
Dublin 8

Tel: (01) 222 2246
Fax: (01) 222 2813

For more information

Dublin City Council
Road Maintenance Services
Block 2, Floor 4
Civic Offices
Wood Quay
Dublin 8

Tel: (01) 222 2255

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