The Engineering Division is responsible for administrative and engineering services for the Department of Public Service and other departments in the city as required by code and policy. The main activities of the Engineering Division include:

  • Plan Reviews - The plan review section reviews proposed development plans to ensure adherence to requirements of the City Code related to public infrastructure, including streets and drainage issues.
  • Site and Utility-Work Inspections - Engineering inspectors ensure that approved projects and utility work in the rights of way are constructed according to the approved plans and permits.
  • Project Management - The project management section manages drainage improvement and some rights-of-way improvement projects within the city. The section has in-house engineering capabilities for small improvement or repair projects. Consultants and contractors are employed for major projects.


The Steel Plate policy was formally adopted by the Charleston City Council on April 23, 2013.

General Engineering Right-of-Way(ROW) info/FAQ

  • A licensed contractor is required for any work that is completed in the city owned ROW.
  • All sidewalks, regardless of who maintains the street, are maintained by the City of Charleston and will need a permit for any work or blocking that is done.
  • When applying for a sidewalk blocking permit, you do not need to fully it does not need to be fully blocked if they can maintain 36 inches from the work to the back of the curb via ADA compliance
  • Any portion of the driveway or sidewalk that is in the ROW must be standard broom finished concrete. 
    • If the applicant chooses another material, they will need to apply and receive an issued encroachment agreement before the engineering permit may be issued.

Right-of-Way Obstruction Definitions:

  • Full sidewalk closure: The obstruction of a sidewalk such that no access is provided to the existing sidewalk for general pedestrian traffic. 
  • Auxiliary sidewalk closure (AUX): The obstruction of a sidewalk such that no access is provided to the existing sidewalk for general pedestrian traffic, but supplementary or alternative means such as cargo containers, scaffolding and temporarily constructed boardwalks/paths are provided to facilitate continued pedestrian movement through or adjacent to the obstructed sidewalk.
  • Partial Sidewalk closure: The obstruction or a sidewalk such that limited, ADA and PROWAG compliant access is provided to the existing sidewalk utilizing means such as barricades and traffic cones .