Outside plant construction permitting

By Jamie Stockdill

July 26, 2017

Construction Permitting is not a very popular topic when it comes to leisurely conversation, yet a necessary one when it comes to construction. With the industry constantly growing and changing, construction projects are unavoidable.

Whether you are performing maintenance on your existing plant, modifying or upgrading, or constructing new plants, you have to make sure both your permits and licenses, and your contractor’s permits and licenses are approved and up to date.

The outside plant construction process starts with obtaining permits and licenses. Obtaining all of these is inefficient with regard to both time and money. It is also difficult to determine which of these permits and licenses are needed in a given market as each market has its own process.

Why, though, does it take so long to get all of the necessary permits? Shouldn’t someone be able to look at your plans, sign off on them, and let you get to work?

Well, it’s not quite that simple. Once you decide on a project, you have to go through many different government departments, at municipal, county and state levels, and sometimes outside entities such as railroads, in order to obtain all of the required permissions and licenses.

Permits are needed for everything from digging up dirt in order to bury cable to parking your construction vehicle on the side of the road or in a parking lot. You even need a permit to set up a temporary toilet on the site so your construction workers can use the restroom while at work. All of this results in a complex messy web of applications and fees, which, if not navigated properly, will lead to delays which will cost you more money.

So how do we solve this dilemma? First, we must clearly understand all requirements for permitting/licensing for each project. Once this information is compiled and documented, we will know what to apply for based on the project and location of the construction. Next, we need to understand the typical time frame between application and approval. Once this is well understood, we can effectively determine when we need to apply for each permit/license in order to generate a smooth permitting process that is free from delays.

A little extra effort up front is well worth it as it will lead to significant time and cost savings down the line.


About the intern:


Jamie Stockdill is a senior at Georgia Southern University. Jamie got invited to be a part of the Duke Talent Identification program which searches out academically gifted students. Through this program, she spent her summer in eighth grade studying 3D computer aided design as well as structural design and analysis at The University of Kansas. In early high school, she was also able to take another course at The University of Georgia on Supreme Court law and ethics. During her senior year at Forsyth Central High School, Jamie was dual enrolled in The University of North Georgia. She is now pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at Georgia Southern with minors in both Physics and Mathematics.

Along with her love for engineering, Jamie has a passion for music and quantum mechanics. She has been involved with her school bands for the past ten years and plays multiple instruments. Jamie’s passion for quantum mechanics was cultivated by her science teacher in sixth grade after school while learning about ham radio. During this time, Jamie also had the opportunity to speak with someone on the International Space Station which further encouraged her passion for applied mathematics.