Our department provides core basic services essential to neighborhood quality of life. We direct the general construction, maintenance, and cleaning of approximately 802 miles of roadways throughout the City. We operate two major drawbridges, maintain 68,055 City-owned street lights, and supervise contracts for the removal and disposal of approximately 260,000 tons of solid waste. We also operate Boston’s recycling program with an annual diversion of approximately 44,000 tons.
Learn more about how Public Works helps the City.
Design standards and guidelines
Climate resilient design guidelines
We’re addressing flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge to protect the public right-of-way.
Public Works design standards and guidelines
We have information about roadway design standards, guidelines, and standard details.
Rules and Specifications for Excavation Activity
Review the mandatory Rules and Specifications requirement for the issuance of a Public Works Department permit to open or occupy a public way.
BOS:311 service requestsService requests
Public Works Engineering Projects
We have information on bridge, design, and construction projects.
Street Upgrades to Enhance Mobility and Safety for Everyone
Expansion of Open Streets Events and Open Newbury Announced
Curbside Food Waste Collection Program Expanded
Public Improvement Commission
The commission owns and controls Boston’s public space. We play an important role in the City’s development and permitting.
Reports and publicationsReports
The Construction Inspection Unit (CIU) produces a daily report, Monday through Friday, of all active utility and private contractor construction work taking place in the Public Way throughout Boston. In addition, they list all City resurfacing and reconstruction projects.
Emergency work notified to the unit after normal work hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) is not available in the report until the following work day.