Wireless leasing

Information and requirements for wireless communications leasing.

If you have requests for non-WSDOT owned equipment or property area leasing:

Request a lease

Lease requests undergo a review and approval process before a Notice To Proceed (NTP) is issued.

What's needed to request a lease

  • Wireless Lease Application - available upon request
  • Completed Notice to Proceed Checklist

Submit lease requests:
Real Estate Services
Attn: Wireless Leasing Agent
P.O. Box 47338
Olympia, WA 98504-7338



Direct administrative expenses for lease requests range from $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 depending on the complexity of the review.

Administrative review

All questions/comments must be addressed and resolved before a lease will be drafted. If the review process reveals a "fatal flaw," notice will be given to the applicant that the lease is being denied "for cause" along with the reason(s) for denial.

The following items are needed for new site requests review:

  • Completed Wireless Lease Application
  • Right-of-way plan sheet
  • Property photographs
  • Ownership documentation
  • Legal description
  • Property survey
  • Construction drawings
  • Traffic Control Plan
  • Landscape Plan
  • Copy of the Utility Company-Tenant Agreement (for requests on non-WSDOT owned utility poles)
  • Light-Utility Standard Endorsement - Required for non-WSDOT owned poles
  • Copy of underlying leasehold interests in the property, including lease/agreement for use of privately owned property, access/road use, and/or use of non-WSDOT owned structures
  • Access Break request submitted
  • WSDOT Utilities Permit Application submitted

Application intake appointment

An application intake appointment may be scheduled, if desired, with the Property Management Program Manager, or designee, to review the application. If deemed incomplete, the necessary additional information will be identified at this time.

If the material as submitted is not adequate, the application may be accepted by WSDOT, but it will not be considered a "completed application." WSDOT will notify the applicant within five (5) business days from the date of receipt of the application that it either is or is not complete.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) review

Review by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) when the application is for space within a "partial controlled limited access highway" (interstate) or Park and Ride (located on an interstate).

At the direction of FHWA this review will not be requested until WSDOT has completed its review and given approval for a lease and the lease is drafted. (FHWA requires 90 calendar days to complete its review).

Structural analysis

A request to add equipment to any structure requires a structural analysis performed at the applicants sole cost and expense. All structural analyses performed must show existing and proposed loads, including all mounts, brackets, cables, etc. to be added, in accordance with the TIA-222-H Standard, Structure Classification III (tower, monopole, building, bridge, sound wall, etc.) or LRFD Specifications For Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaries, and Traffic Signals, 1st Edition, 2020 Interim Revisions (light standard and utility pole). Any structure over 100 ft. will require a structural analysis by a licensed State of Washington Structural Engineer. WSDOT will review all structural analyses and work with the applicant to resolve loading requirements, if necessary. Should the complexity of the analysis require review by a WSDOT vendor, applicant shall incur those costs.

Additional information

  • Requests are processed on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Carriers who submit multiple requests for site changes at the same site: new requests will not be processed until the previous request is completed in its entirety. Proof of completion will be required.
  • WSDOT encourages collocation whenever possible.
  • Sites located on an interstate and where FHWA approval is needed, the site developer MUST complete NEPA.
  • There is no access to communications sites from the interstate mainline in urban areas.
  • No access to communications sites will be allowed from ON or OFF ramps.
  • Any trenching in the right of way requires a WSDOT Utility Permit issued by the Region Utility office.
  • The communications site developer must include a utility trench cross section with their construction drawings (CDs).
  • Site developer must use native vegetation to conceal fenced compound (unless otherwise told not to), no Douglas fir trees.

Find fee information

Direct administrative expenses

There is a $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 direct administrative expense when requesting a lease, depending on the complexity of the review.

Utility Poles/Light Standards

Lease Rate: $3,500 annually per site, effective January 1, 2024.

Communication site classes

Site class is factored into the annual rental rate for each wireless/communication lease (Site Class 1 is at the highest rate and Site Class 5 at the lowest rate). Several things contribute to the site classification, including but not limited to: proximity to users or population centers, proximity to other communication sites, site elevation which increase geographic coverages, road accessibility, and power availability.

  • Site Class 1: A site serving a high population density and/or a broad geographic area. High traffic corridors for cellular applications, road access, commercial and standby power are available.
  • Site Class 2: A site with the same physical qualifications as a Site Class 1, but which does not serve an area of high population density, or which has some limitations reaching a broad geographic area.
  • Site Class 3: A site with road access, but which does not serve the population density or the geographic area of Site Class 2. May or may not have commercial and standby power available.
  • Site Class 4: A site with limited road access. Commercial power usually is not available and there is a very low population served.
  • Site Class 5: A site located in and used only by County Emergency Management Services (EMS), where the county has a population of less than 5,000. If the EMS lessee subleases, other lessees at the site will be assessed under higher site classifications.

Other potential additional fees

Leasehold Excise Tax (LET): As set forth in RCW 82.29A. Federal, state, county or city governments, and public utility companies are exempt from paying LET. Proof from the Washington State Department of Revenue that a site is exempt from LET is required or LET will be charged in addition to the annual rental rate.

Utility fees: Unless a separate meter is installed; utilities fees will be charged in addition to the annual rental rate.

Road Use/Access fees: Where WSDOT is charged additional fees for site users, said fees will be included in the annual rental rate.

Assessments fees: In accordance with RCW 79.44.010, which result from use of a site, said fees will be charged in addition to the annual rental rate. The invoice will be forwarded to the user for payment.

Special Use fees: Special Use fees charged to WSDOT resulting from use of a site will be charged in addition to the annual rental rate. The invoice will be forwarded to the user for payment.

Amend a lease

If additional equipment is added to a WSDOT owned structure beyond what was approved in the lease or the request is for work outside the leased premises, including fiber runs, an amendment to the lease must be completed prior to commencement of work.

What's needed for a lease amendment

  • Wireless Lease Application - available upon request
  • Completed Notice to Proceed Checklist

Send documentation to:

Real Estate Services
Attn: Wireless Leasing Agent
P.O. Box 47338
Olympia, WA 98504-7338



Obtain a Notice to Proceed (NTP)

Once WSDOT has received all of the required information listed in the Notice To Proceed (NTP) Checklist, a NTP will be issued for work being done within the leased premises. NTP's expire 90 days after the date issued. For NTP's within a Park and Ride, see Park and Ride Requirements below.

Notice To Proceed Checklist

1. Final construction plans

  • 1 electronic set of 11" x 17" size sheets.
  • Survey and legal description of proposed site.
  • Plot plan showing location of proposed facility (noting additional area needed for construction, if applicable), and its relationship to any and all existing facilities at the site.
  • State Route or Interstate Route number, milepost, and direction.
  • Location of adjacent streets, roads, or alleys for alternate access location.
  • Right-of-way line (include copy of WSDOT right-of-way plan sheet when utilized).
  • Identify the safety control zone/clear zone (include calculation). Refer to the WSDOT Utilities Manual for details.
  • Landscaping details to include methods to prevent soil erosion or to protect slopes or sensitive areas. Existing landscape (outline of vegetation) with landscaping to be proposed.
  • Landscape plan including irrigation/drip system and, if applicable, soil erosion and sediment control (include elevations, details showing architectural treatment, colors of the various facility components, etc.).
  • Fencing, sidewalks, signs, curbing, stairs, driveways-existing and proposed (including curb-line opening), driveway width and alignment with respect to the adjoining highway or local road and other minor improvements, access way, parking area and identification of any areas to be paved or striped (including the materials to be used).
  • Location of any existing WSDOT structures (i.e. buildings, equipment, guardrails, access roads, columns).
  • Identify topography including slopes within access control area.
  • Location of aerial and underground utilities (fiber optic electrical, telephone, etc.) and the proposed method of accessing utilities from outside the access control area.
  • Location of and setback from bridge structures (include bridge number/name).
  • Utilities (including trenching specifications).
  • Diesel back-up generators must have double wall fuel tanks. Construction drawings must show/detail fuel tank details, include the location of spill containment materials and parking location of fuel truck when refueling, and specify the decibels of the generator when running under full load.
  • Excavation plans for the monopole/tower, conduits, equipment shelter, and other structures.
  • Height of the structure (monopole/tower, utility pole) and antenna elevation.
  • If site is shared with WSDOT, name of applicant's Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer who will work with the WSDOT Region Radio Technician.
  • Narrative describing how installation and construction will be performed in order to minimize the impact on WSDOT operations (e.g., traveling public, commuters at a park and ride lots, workers at a maintenance facilities).

2. Copy of all environmental documents

3. Copy of building permit

4. Traffic Control Plan in accordance with Chapter 296-155 WAC, Part E and Chapter 296-32 WAC

5. Copy of WSDOT Utility Permit

6. Copy of WSDOT Type F Access Permit or Temporary Access Break

7. Proof from the Washington State Department of Revenue that a site is exempt from Leasehold Excise Tax

8. Insurance certificate

9. Final construction schedule - who, what, where, when and how

10. Copy of Fall Protection Work Plan, including tentative Rescue Plan; detailed requirements relating to a fall protection work plan are covered in Chapter 296-32 WAC

11. Fully executed lease/amendment

Park and ride requirements

Applicant must notify WSDOT and all applicable Transit Authorities seven (7) calendar days prior to beginning any work at a Park and Ride.

  1. No activities or vehicle access is allowed in the bus loops, bus zones, bus layovers, or passenger shelter areas.
  2. All activities and staging shall take place within the lot.
  3. The Applicant shall provide all applicable Transit Authorities a map of the proposed location for the requested activities, which shall be approved in advance by WSDOT and transit staff.
  4. The Applicant shall prepare and submit for review and approval to WSDOT and transit staff a Traffic Control Plan for vehicles accessing and exiting the lot to ensure there is no interference with transit operations or transit customer use.
  5. WSDOT and transit staff may approve the use of vehicles over 10,000 GVW, specifically the type and weight of the vehicle(s), use of outriggers or stabilizers, and how the effects of the point load and overall weight may be mitigated.
  6. If vehicles over 10,000 FVW are approved for use, the applicant must submit a plan showing vehicle location, duration of use, and how/what will be used to alleviate ground disturbance (dissipation mats, 1" plywood sheets, etc.). Applicant shall cover the ground/pavement to protect the surface from oils, petrochemicals, pollutants, and hazardous waste materials.
  7. The Applicant shall be responsible for providing all necessary safety measures.
  8. No materials, equipment, garbage, etc., shall be placed or allowed in the landscaping, drainage field, or detention pond.
  9. Immediately, upon the completion of work the Applicant shall be responsible for returning the site to the same or better condition then prior to the work, including the removal and/or disposal of all equipment, materials, trash, and any items left on-site associated with the work. No equipment or other articles shall be left on-site.
  10. The Applicant shall be responsible for any and all repairs and/or replacement of any damage to the site, including to the landscaping, drainage field, detention pond, pavement, and any passenger amenities in the Park and Ride lot.
  11. WSDOT and/or transit staff will check the site after each installation/modification and will note any damage, repairs/replacement; any materials, equipment, trash, etc., left on the lot, or if removal and/or any clean-up needs to be completed.
  12. The Notice to Proceed (NTP) will expire 90 days after the date it is issued. All work described in the NTP MUST be completed within the 90 day period.
  13. Should the work described in the NTP not be completed within the 90 day period, the Applicant must submit an application detailing the work not completed and pay WSDOT to process the application for the unfinished work.

RCW/WAC references

166,800 electric vehicle

registrations in Washington in 2023, up from 114,600 in 2022.

87 wetland compensation sites

actively monitored on 918 acres in 2023.

25,000 safe animal crossings

in the Snoqualmie Pass East Project area since 2014.