Who's Digging in My Yard?

Who's Digging in My Yard?

Construction is always occurring throughout the City, but it is important to remember as a property owner that construction is not limited to just roadways and new development. It happens within the Public Utility Easement (PUE), which is often located in the front yard of private property behind the public right-of-way. 

Before a company can work within public right-of-way, they must submit a permit application to the Public Works Department, which will be reviewed and approved as the permits need to meet City’s guidelines.

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Frequently Asked Questions About PUEs and Rights-of-Ways

What is a PUE?

PUE stands for Public Utility Easement and generally allows a utility company the right to use and access specific areas of a property for construction and maintenance of the utility infrastructure. Utilities that may be in a PUE include gas, electric, telecommunication, fiber optic, cable, water, sewer, traffic control devices, and other utilities (this list is not intended to be all-inclusive).

What is a right-of-way?

Right-of-way is a type of easement granted to the City generally for transportation purposes, such as a street or roadway and public sidewalks or bikeways, but also for other types of public improvements as well. Right-of-way is typically granted by the developer of the property or is acquired by the City if additional right-of-way is needed for a City project.

Who grants the PUE?

Typically, the developer of the subdivision or a parcel grants the necessary PUEs when the subdivision or parcel map is approved, so utility companies can install and maintain the infrastructure for the development. This is essential for neighborhood services and infrastructure such as stormwater drainage, sanitary sewer, cable, fiber optic, phone, natural gas lines, electrical distribution, and more.

Where is the PUE typically located?

example of PUE and right of way

PUEs are usually located behind the sidewalk and adjacent to roadways. They may also be located along a side yard or at the back of a property. The typical width of a PUE is 12.5’ however it can and does vary. Below is an example of a typical subdivision which shows the location of a PUE and dedication of streets.

Disclaimer: The graphic shown is for a typical subdivision; not all subdivisions look the same. Residents have the duty and responsibility to maintain the sidewalk, including any planting strip or driveway approach, in safe conditions, as detailed in the Elk Grove Municipal Code 12.05.050

Does a utility company need approval from the property owner to work in the PUE?

A PUE grants the right to access, construct, and maintain facilities or infrastructure. They are not required to notify the property owner before they begin work in the PUE; however, the City has requested they do as a courtesy to residents through our permit process.

Who are the common utilities working within Elk Grove? Telecommunication
  • Frontier – Frontier is upgrading their existing, copper facilities with new fiber optic cable that will deliver to you as much as 2 Gbps download service. In order to make this happen, Frontier needs to do some digging.  
  • Comcast 
  • Crown Castle
  • Comcast 
  • AT&T 
  • Verizon 
  • MCI Metro 
  • Astound Broadband


  • PG&E 


  • Sacramento Area Sewer District 
  • Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District 


  • SMUD 


  • Elk Grove Water District 
  • Sacramento County Water Agency
Who do I contact to find out where the easement is located on my property?

It is a good idea to know where easements are located on your property. The plat for your property usually contains the location of easements. Plats are recorded at the Sacramento County Recorder’s Office, and you can generally look it up online.


City of Elk Grove 
Right of Way and Permits Section  Email or (916) 627-3320 


golden state north sky

What to expect from the construction process to bring new fiber optic cable into your community where existing Frontier infrastructure exists.

Where existing Frontier Infrastructure is present, (Conduit, Utility vaults, Poles etc.), we will utilize those facilities to place new fiber optic cable. Additional trench work may be needed to take fiber drops from our existing underground vaults to reach the single point of entry into the home.

What to expect from the construction process to bring new fiber optic cable into your community where no existing infrastructure exists.

In many cases Frontier has existing buried copper facilities within communities with no infrastructure that can be utilized to place our new fiber optic cables. In those scenarios we will be placing new substructure, (Conduit and Utility vaults) to locate our new fiber facilities using multiple methods of construction such as directional boring, trenching, road and sidewalk excavation and restoration. Our #1 goal is always to leave the environment the same or in better condition than we found it. That’s why we will do things like take pictures of the areas we touch before we touch them, so we will know what those areas are supposed to look like when we’re done.

Notification to Homeowners prior to start of Construction

Frontier Employees and their Licensed Contractors that are building this new fiber optic network are required to provide reasonable notice to each resident prior to construction. We typically do so within 48 hours or more depending on the scope of construction required. This is done by door hangers and / or notes left at the front door by our Construction crews with specific dates of construction. Contact information is provided for a Frontier Inspector who is responsible for the work being performed throughout the duration of construction. If access is required to the customers property and the homeowner is not available to grant access for certain date or time, a call can be made to the Frontier inspector to setup a pre-determined time that is reasonable when the homeowner would be available. We are a part of the community too and we want to work together to limit the amount of inconvenience to each of the residents we intend to serve.

Contact Information/Construction Timetable Notification

It is our earnest desire to complete this project and deliver your 21st Century technology with as little inconvenience to you as possible. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Frontier inspector listed below.

Frontier Inspectors Contact information: Ben Hanley, Benjamin.hanley@ftr.com, (530) 537-5664
Frontier Inspectors Contact information: Joe Kraemer joseph.kraemer@ftr.com, (925) 768-0403

Frontier Licensed Contractor: Golden State Utilities
Contractor Foreman: Jeff Danner, jdanner@northskycomm.com, (509) 201-4837
Contractor Foreman: Mark Kahn, mkahn@gsuc.net; (209) 609-2125

crown castle

Your neighborhood is getting an upgrade.
We’re enabling improved wireless service in your area.

We’ve been authorized and permitted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to do utility work in your area. A new network will enable your wireless carrier to deliver faster download speeds and improved access to public safety services like enhanced 911.

A few things you should know:

  • We’ll be installing fiber cabling and associated utility and communications equipment.
  • The installation will largely take place on and around existing infrastructure like utility poles and/or streetlights.
  • Some existing streetlights and utility poles may need to be replaced with new poles of comparable size and appearance.

Answers to questions you may have.
Will my cell phone coverage improve?

The infrastructure and equipment we install is available to all wireless carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and others. Based on customer demand, your carrier will decide if and how they utilize the new infrastructure to improve coverage and capacity.

Will this installation disrupt my day?

We will try our best to make sure it doesn’t. All work will be done during regular business hours, and we don’t anticipate significant noise or traffic disruption.

Who is Crown Castle?

We are the nations leading provider of wireless infrastructure. For more information about us, visit our website at CrownCastle.com.

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