Simple Guidance for PennDOT HOP Permitting

When is a PennDOT HOP Required?

PennDOT regulates all activities within the State right-of-way through the issuance of Highway Occupancy Permits (HOPs). As a State agency, they have a responsibility to not only accommodate the applicant/permittee, but also protect the traveling public and ensure the structural integrity of the highway is maintained.

Whether you’re a developer, property owner, utility company or municipality; if you require access to a State right-of-way, you will need a PennDOT HOP.

Not sure if your property is located along a State highway?

As a standard rule of thumb, PennDOT HOPs are required when an access point (i.e. driveway) or utility is installed or other modifications are made to or above a PennDOT right-of-way. It may also be required when the use of the site and its associated traffic volume are changed.

A property owner contemplating taking access from a State highway, must consider the potential time and cost impact this permit could have.

If you require an HOP, here’s a simple guide to getting started:

  • Retain a civil engineering consultant to evaluate design concepts in accordance with PennDOT engineering standards. They will develop sketches to identify potential issues.
  • You may also need a traffic engineer for larger projects, especially those involving a traffic signal. The traffic engineer will perform traffic counts/studies and create or amend official PennDOT Traffic Signal Plans.
  • Before getting into the formal engineering design and application process, your civil engineer should set up a meeting with PennDOT to discuss the proposed layout and secure design consensus. This critical step sets the table for a smooth application process.