Most people know that you need a building permit before starting a new home or office building, but you also need permits for many bridges. Knowing when you need a permit can be difficult to navigate, but it can save you from paying fines and other costs.
When Do You Need a Permit?
Florida’s code gives private landowners a general permit to build certain bridges or culverted driveways on their land, but only for drainage purposes, and there are other requirements. The bridge must be 50 feet or less from the top of one bank to the other, and there are limitations to the width. There are other permits required if a road will be constructed and in other scenarios.
Regardless of whether you’re on private land, you should also consider whether the bridge might affect any wetlands, even if they’re far from your property. In that case, or if it might change the flow of surface water or pollute the water, you may also need an environmental resource permit (ERP). These are just state building codes. Did you know that counties and cities have their own building rules and required permits? In Florida or any other state, it’s always best to check with your local permit office before you begin bridge construction to be sure of whether you need a permit.
How Do You Get a Permit?
It usually only takes a few days to get a building permit, but that time depends on how many other property owners are waiting for building permits, whether the inspector is in the office and available, and other factors. It’s always best to apply for a permit as soon as possible so that you have it in hand when you’re ready to begin work.
To apply for a permit, you can get the application from your local permit office, which you can find on the website for the city or county where the property is located. The application includes information about the property and the work planned. When you complete the application, you then need to turn it in – with an application fee and building plans – and wait for approval.
This seemingly inconvenient step in the building process helps to ensure that everything built on your property is solid and safe, conforming to the local building codes. Nature Bridges completes permits often and knows the code and everything else that is needed to apply for a permit to build your bridge – or any other structure. Contact us for help with everything for bridge construction.