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FAQ - Public Right of Way

Who should I contact about right-of-way questions?

Call the Development Review Division of the Public Works Department at (360) 867-2050.

How do I get permission to connect my driveway to a county road?

As part of your application package, you will need to apply for an access easement. To get an easement application for crossing a Thurston County right-of-way, click here (SA 015B).

What steps are involved in the review stage?

Thurston County Public Works reviews all proposals for new driveway access to county roads and unopened county right of way, and issues Encroachment Permits. A county engineering technician will review your access proposal based on the following safety requirements:

  • Sight distance - Drivers and pedestrians entering and exiting your property must be able to see oncoming vehicles from a safe distance. This distance increases proportionately to traffic speeds.
  • Intersections - Access must be constructed at a minimum distance from any intersection. Again the safe distance is determined based on traffic volumes and speed.
  • Drainage - Frequently the proposed access route will cross a roadside drainage ditch. A county engineering technician will decide if a culvert is needed to maintain proper drainage and will notify you of any installation requirements.
  • When your access proposal has been approved, the reviewer will prepare an Encroachment Permit and notify your case manager in the Building Development Center. The case manager will add this approval to your project file. You must purchase the Encroachment Permit before constructing the driveway.

Contact Us

Thurston County Building Development Center, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98502-6045.
Phone: (360) 786-5490. TTY/TDD call 711 or 1-800-833-6388.  E-mail: permit@co.thurston.wa.us.


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