Public Works Department provide a variety of services to citizens, visitors, and businesses daily.
The Public Works Department provides a quality environment for the City of Boston and ensures that the City's roadways, streets and bridge infrastructure are safe, clean, and attractive.
Roadway and sidewalk cleanliness and temporary repair are the responsibility of the Highway Field Operations Division. The Division is a seven-day, twenty-four hour operation, maintaining over fifteen hundred (1,500) miles of City streets. Responsibilities include snow removal, street and sidewalk sweeping, pothole repair, litter basket installation and maintenance, and general temporary repairs that maintain roadways and sidewalks until major repairs are made.
The City of Boston owns approximately 800 miles of paved streets and 1200 miles of sidewalks. The Construction Management Division of Public Works maintains the safety and security of these public right-of-ways. The three major functions of the Construction Management Division are roadway repair and restoration, sidewalk and pedestrian ramp repair, and utility compliance and coordination.
The Waste Reduction Division (formerly Recycling and Sanitation) is responsible for the collection and disposal of residential recyclables, trash, and leaf and yard waste. The Division also holds hazardous waste drop-off days up to four times per year, seasonal paint and motor oil drop-offs, and offers discounted backyard compost bins.
The Street Lighting Division is responsible for providing an adequate, modern, aesthetic, efficient lighting system for all roadways, bridges, underpasses, pedestrian walkways, parks and playgrounds under the control of the City of Boston. The Street Lighting division operates as a clearing house for all street lighting in Boston. Whoever installs or maintains street lighting on City streets, the Division has the final say on design, specifications, construction, and maintenance methods.
The Engineering Division of Public Works oversees contracts for total reconstruction of City streets and sidewalks (as opposed to resurfacing; see Construction Management). Reconstruction includes installation of under-surface street lighting systems, as well as the design and engineering of pedestrian ramps. The Engineering Division also conducts bridge inspections and coordinates bridge reconstruction through MassDOT.The Public Improvement Commission, the board that oversees any changes made to City street definitions,dimensions, naming, or ownership, is also part of Engineering Division.
The Permit Division of Public Works issues permits pertaining to the occupation and/or excavation of the public roadways and sidewalks. Permits include dumpsters, banners, vending, telephone booths, newspaper boxes, sidewalk cafes, filming, and any private or utility cutting into City roadways and sidewalks (including driveways). The Permit Division is located in Room 715 of Boston City Hall and is where permit fees are collected and the permits themselves issued after necessary signage is obtained through the Transportation Department. Acceptable forms of payment are cash, check, money order, and debit/credit card (Master Card, Visa, Discover Card only).