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Civil Engineering

The Civil Engineering Bureau ensures and protects the integrity of City infrastructure and public right of ways by establishing and maintaining quality design standards for land development activities, managing the design and construction of public improvements and capital improvement projects, and assuring that private development and public improvements are in compliance with the City’s development ordinances and design standards. Civil Engineering plays a significant role in the design and construction management of capital improvements including roadway and intersection improvements, streetscapes, drainage, sanitary sewers, and community development projects. Civil Engineering also serves as a support service to various other city departments and to the general public.

The Civil Engineering Bureau also manages and administers subdivisions and right of way abandonments for the City of Greenville. See subdivisions or abandonments for more information on subdivision regulations, requirements for preliminary, final, and summary plats, and right of way abandonments.

Other responsibilities for Civil Engineering include the management of the City’s pavement rehabilitation program and the development of new sidewalks through the NSTEP program.

Civil Engineering also works with the general public on specific requests for public improvements. The City has an option for property owners to petition for public improvements based on a 50/50 cost share between the City and the respective property owners abutting the desired improvements. Petitions that are often considered included requests for curb and gutter, sidewalk, resurfacing, and drainage improvements. The requirements and procedure for petitioning for improvement can be found in our assessment policy.


Beginning in early 1997, the City of Greenville began two initiatives to determine the wants, needs and level of satisfaction of city residents. The first project was a random telephone survey containing some 40 questions asking citizens to rate City services.

While many of the responses were extremely positive and more favorable than similar survey responses nationwide, sidewalks received less positive feedback and were an area of concern. Meanwhile, as part of the development of the City of Greenville’s Comprehensive Plan by the Greenville County Planning Commission and City staff, neighborhood meetings were conducted in 19 designated areas involving hundreds of Greenville citizens. These meetings provided an opportunity for the participants to offer opinions on their community’s strengths and weaknesses and to identify the major issues facing their neighborhoods. Again, satisfaction with sidewalks was an area of concern.

Because of this apparent interest in the network of sidewalks within the city limits of Greenville, the Department of Public Works initiated a summary analysis of the status and an identification of the issues related to the City’s sidewalks in early 1998. The analysis was to examine existing sidewalk management practices, as well as the potential for adding new sidewalks to the system.

A document entitled Sidewalk Management Status Report was completed in June of 1998 and subsequently presented to the Mayor and City Council. Recommendations within that report included a proposal to commission a citizen’s advisory group as part of a new sidewalk construction program called Neighborhood Sidewalk Targeted Expansion Program or NSTEP for short. The NSTEP committee met between January and May 1999, during which time the following issues were identified and addressed by the committee:
  • Identification of potential sidewalk construction project locations,
  • Potential project priority system,
  • Design issues,
  • Departmental coordination issues, and
  • Supplemental funding issues.
Based on its findings, the NSTEP committee developed the Sidewalk Project Evaluation Form for use by the City’s Pubic Works Department. This form creates the ranking system upon which all City streets without sidewalk are placed on the NSTEP list. In other words, the evaluation form determines approximately how long it will be before a particular street has sidewalk constructed.

NSTEP is funded through the Capital Improvements Project budget. Currently the City is able to construct approximately one mile of sidewalk each year. With the completion of NSTEP Round 4, over five miles of new sidewalk have been constructed throughout the City of Greenville.

NSTEP Round 5 is now underway. Download a map of the sidewalk projects. The project includes:

Street From To
Echols Street Hampton Avenue Pinckney Street
Hall Street Rebecca Street Baxter Street
Holmes Drive N. Pleasantburg Drive Twin Lake Road
Ottaway Drive East Faris Road Lanneau Drive
S. Leach Street Ethel Street Dunbar Street
White Oak Drive Buena Vista Avenue East North Street

For additional information regarding the City’s NSTEP program and/or information regarding sidewalk on your street, please contact the City of Greenville, Engineering Division at 864-467-4400.
Pavement Rehabilitation
The basis of determining the priority for rehabilitating the city streets is “worse to first”. The approximately 300 miles of city streets were initially rated in 2003 on a scale of 2 – 10 by a pavement management consulting firm and the condition of the city streets is updated yearly. A street with a Pavement Quality Index (PQI) of 2.0 is in the worse condition and a street with PQI rating of 10.0 is in the best condition. Factors considered in determining the PQI rating of a street segment includes, but is not limited to: cracking, rideability, amount of structural deformation, and degree of raveling. The current fiscal year budget for rehabilitating the city’s streets is $0.5 million. This amount allows for approximately nine lane miles of city streets to be resurfaced yearly.
Pavement Resurfacing List
Subdivision refers to all divisions of a tract or parcel of land into two or more lots, building sites, or other divisions for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of sale, lease, or building development, and includes all divisions of land involving a new street or change in existing streets, and includes re-subdivision which would involve the further division or relocation of lot lines of any lot or lots within a subdivision previously made and approved or recorded according to law; or the alteration of any streets or the establishment of any new streets within any subdivision previously made and approved or recorded according to law, and includes combinations of lots of record.

All subdivisions are subject to the requirements of the Land Development Regulations as defined in the ordinance. Applications for subdivisions shall be made as defined in the ordinance.

All subdivisions are subject to approval by the Planning Commission unless categorized as a minor subdivision. A minor subdivision is defined as a subdivision of land into five or fewer lots on less than three acres of land when:
  • No new streets, alleys, or other public ways are created,
  • No changes are made to the existing right of way of any streets, alleys, or other public ways,
  • No new utilities are required to serve the subdivided land,
  • The division of land meets the minimum requirements of the subdivision ordinance,
  • No flag lot is created in a residential zone district that is inconsistent with existing development patterns, and
  • The lots have direct access onto a public street that has been accepted for maintenance by the appropriate agency.
Any subdivision requiring Planning Commission approval is considered a major subdivision.

All public improvements associated with a subdivision will be subject to the City Land Development Ordinance and the requirements and standards of this manual.

Plats shall be prepared in accordance with the following specifications:
  • Preliminary Plat
    The preliminary plat of a subdivision is the plan that is intended to be used by the planning commission and other agencies for the purpose of determining the subdivision’s acceptance from the standpoint of public interest. A preliminary plat is required when one or more new streets, alleys or other public ways are created or if changes will be made to the right-of-way of any existing streets, alleys or other public ways. A preliminary plat is also required if new utilities are created. It is hereby required that before any person may subdivide land and dedicate streets, alleys or other lands for public use, as defined in this chapter, the owner of the land shall first submit two mylar reproducible copies of the preliminary plat to the City for review to determine whether the provisions of this chapter are being complied with, and for the approval of the planning commission in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth in this chapter.
  • Final Plat
    After the required improvements have been completed as required by a preliminary plat approval or a bond or cash has been posted in lieu of the improvements, the final plat may be submitted for approval. The final plat shall be submitted in the form of three mylar reproducible copies.
The City Engineer shall be authorized to sign final plats of minor subdivisions on existing public streets without such divisions of land having first obtained preliminary approval by the Planning Commission. All persons requesting summary approval shall submit in writing a statement establishing the existence of a public street and that such streets have been accepted for maintenance by the appropriate agency. The summary plats must be duly signed by the City Engineer and recorded in the office of the County Register of Deeds prior to the recording of any individual deeds for the subdivided lots.

The summary plat shall meet all the specifications of a final plat.

 Whenever public improvements are required in conjunction with a subdivision, prior to approval of the final plat or like document, for recording in the office of the register of deeds, the applicant shall post a surety bond, certified check, or other instrument readily convertible to cash. The surety must be in an amount equal to at least 125 percent of the cost of the improvements. It is the responsibility of the applicant to substantiate the cost serving as a basis for the posted surety, subject to review and approval of the City Engineer, and such responsibility shall continue throughout the project. The surety must be in favor of the city to insure that in the event of default by the applicant, funds will be used to install the required improvements at the expense of the applicant or property owner, or both in the event they are different parties.