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New Hampshire State Highway Excavation Permit (3-NH-e)

In New Hampshire, a developer may need a State Highway Excavation Permit from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (“NHDOT”) to construct a project that requires “excavation or disturbance of the shoulders, ditches, embankments, or the paved surface of a state-maintained highway” Utility Accommodation Manual, 66.


State Highway Excavation Permit Process

3-NH-e.1 – Contact the NHDOT Highway Maintenance Bureau

The developer should contact NHDOT’s Highway Maintenance to determine the type of State Highway Excavation Permit (“Permit”) required. Utility Accommodation Manual, 66. Depending on the nature and scope of a project, the developer may need to obtain a long form, or short form permit. Utility Accommodation Manual, 66.

Long form excavation applications are required for extensive excavation projects, or projects involving substantial complications, regardless of size. Utility Accommodation Manual, 66. Short form excavation applications are required for “service connections, minor installations, and/or repairs within State highway rights-of-way. Utility Accommodation Manual, 66.

3-NH-e.2 to 3-NH-e.3 – Is the Proposed Excavation Work Encompassed in a Pole License?

State Highway Excavation Permits are not required for utility pole installations covered by pole licensing policies. Utility Accommodation Manual, 66. For more information, see:

State Highway Pole License:
3-NH-g

3-NH-e.4 – State Highway Excavation Permit Application

Excavation Permit Application requirements vary depending on the nature and scope of the proposed work.

Long-Form (Trench) Applications

Long-form (Trench) Applications require the applicant (developer) to supply the following information:

  • Location/description of the proposed work with accompanying plans, sketches, letters, and notes;
  • Agreement to comply with applicable rules and regulations;
  • Photographs showing existing conditions of the area to be disturbed;
  • Contact information for standby crew members;
  • Agreement to indemnify the state of New Hampshire for a period of two (2) years following acceptance of the project;
  • Agreement to provide a surety bond guaranteeing maintenance of the disturbed area for a period of two (2) years; and
  • The dates the work is set to begin and end.

Utility Accommodation Manual, F-1.1 – F.1.6.

Short-Form (Excavation) Applications

Short-form (Excavation) Applications require the applicant (developer) to supply the following information:

  • The location of the proposed excavation with supporting plans and sketches;
  • The purpose of the proposed excavation;
  • The dates the work is set to begin and end; and
  • Contact information for contractors and owners involved in the project.

Utility Accommodation Manual, F-2.1 – F-2.3.

3-NH-e.5 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

The NHDOT Maintenance District reviews the Application for administrative and technical completeness.

3-NH-e.6 to 3-NH-e.9 – Does the NHDOT District Engineer Request a Pre-work Conference?

At the direction of the NHDOT District Engineer, the developer must schedule and attend a pre-work conference with the NHDOT, subcontractors, impacted utility representatives, and impacted municipal agencies. Utility Accommodation Manual, 68. The NHDOT reviews the developer’s proposed operation schedule and impacts on affected parties during the pre-work conference. Utility Accommodation Manual, 68.

3-NH-e.10 to 3-NH-e.11 – Review Application for Approval

The NHDOT Maintenance District reviews the Application for approval.

3-NH-e.12 – State Highway Excavation Permit

Prior to initiating construction, the developer must provide NHDOT with a continuing surety bond or letter of credit fulfilling the permit provisions. Utility Accommodation Manual, 68.

3-NH-e.13 – Appeal Decision (If Applicable)

Any person impacted by an NHDOT permit determination may file an appeal in New Hampshire superior court within 60 days of NHDOT issuing its determination. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 231:166.


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Edit New Hampshire Department of Transportation
Chief of Design Services - Highway Design - Project Development 603-271-2171 melodieabbazabbaesterburg@dotabbazabbanhabbazabbagov Visit Website