Right-of-Way & Performance Bonds

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There are two types of bonds that may be required when doing work in the City, a Right-of-Way (ROW) bond and a Performance Bond.

What is a ROW Bond?
A ROW bond is required as a measure of protection against personal injury or damage to property when work is being done in the right-of-way. With few exceptions, when work is being performed within the City right-of-way it must be done by a licensed contractor who has an active $15,000 ROW bond on file with the City prior to the permit being issued. Permits that require ROW bonds include work within the right-of-way associated with:

  • Storm/sanitary sewer repair or installation
  • Sidewalk repair or installation
  • Driveway repair or installation
  • Barricading
  • Utility trenching
  • Sign installation
  • Work Order (a permit which often include several of the other items on this list)

What is a Performance Bond?
A performance bond is project-specific and ensures that, if the work is not completed within the required amount of time, the bond will cover the cost to complete the work. Performance bonds are most commonly required for Work Orders but can also be used to guarantee the completion of such things as landscaping or critical areas mitigation. Because the performance bond is project-specific, the value of the bond will depend on the value of the work being completed. City staff will assist in that determination. If the work is completed per the specific requirement in the given time frame, and accepted by the City, the bond is released.

Work Order Bonds
It’s common with Work Orders that the applicant (typically the civil engineer who designed the drawings) is different than the contractor who is going to pull the permit and do the work. As a result, it’s important to note that, in addition to the performance bond requirement for the Work Order.

How to Satisfy the Bond Requirement
There are three ways to satisfy both the ROW and performance bonds:

  • Purchase a bond through a bonding or surety company.
  • Assignment of funds in-lieu of bond – the applicant deposits the required bond amount at his/her bank and the bank creates a separate account. That money stays in the account until it is released by the City. The bank completes the Assignment In-Lieu-Of Bond form. The bank MUST attach a copy of the Time Certificate statement or deposit slip and the official bank signature must be notarized.
  • Agreement in-lieu of bond – a cash deposit is made directly to the City and held until the work is completed.

Sidewalk Closure

ROW/ Performance Bond Submittal
Important Information to Correctly Complete and Submit a Bond:

  • We must receive an original bond (see the attached ROW bond form); bonds on other forms will not be accepted. This includes: riders, copies, emails and faxes. Original stamped and signed document is required.
  • PLEASE print the bond form on one page; power of attorney document must also be printed on one page. Double-sided documents will not be accepted.
  • The company name must be consistent with all other documentation we have on file (certificate of insurance, WA State Contractor’s license, City of Tacoma business license, company letter on letterhead)
  • If your company is incorporated (Inc.) or formed as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), the bond should reflect the full legal name of the company. The name needs to be consistent with the remaining documents.
  • If you are a sole proprietor or “doing business as (DBA)”, both your full legal name and the full legal name of the DBA company should be on the bond. Please make sure all required signatures and notarizations are complete– incomplete bonds will cause approval delay.
  • A Power of Attorney document must be original, contain original signatures, and be attached to the bond form (a copy will only be accepted with embossed or adhered stamp from the surety company).

Please mail or hand-deliver to our address as follows (NOTE: failure to use a complete address will result in mail being returned):

City of Tacoma
Planning and Development Services Department
747 Market Street, Room 345
Tacoma, WA 98402

Additional Resources
Tip Sheets

Tacoma Municipal Code (TMC)