Building & Engineering

Counter 2023

The Arcata Building and Engineering Department's primary purpose is to ensure that development within the City complies with state, federal, and local laws. The Building & Engineering Department is responsible for:

  • City Engineering
  • Building Permits & Inspections
  • Capital Improvements
  • Public Transportation
  • Streetlights

Current City Construction

Current Bid Opportunities


The Building Division ensures the health and welfare of the residents of Arcata by regulating construction, alteration, use, and occupancy of buildings through application of standardized building codes. Code compliance is verified through plan review, permit issuance and on-site inspections.


The Engineering Division of the Building & Engineering Department provides design assistance for the repair and improvement of the City's infrastructure. The Engineering Division also oversees capital improvement projects for the City. These projects involve surveying, engineering design, the preparation of plans and specifications, construction management and inspection.

This Division also prepares tentative maps and legal descriptions for the sale of City owned properties and provides a number of services to the general public including: determining availability of public utilities, encroachment permits, review of private subdivision and development proposals and traffic safety studies. The Division is also responsible for abatement of nuisances within the public right-of-way.

This Division provides staff support to the activities of the Transportation Safety Committee. Citizen concerns about traffic safety and parking restrictions are studied by the Division and a report is made to the Committee. The Committee then makes recommendations to staff and to the City Council.

Electric Bus

Public Transportation

The Transportation Division is located in the Transit Center at 925 E Street between 9th Street and 10th Streets, and operates as the regional hub. On a normal weekday, approximately 150 buses pass through the Transit Center. The Transit Center serves passengers of City, County, and intercity bus services (Greyhound and Amtrak). 

The City's bus service is known as the Arcata & Mad River Transit System (A&MRTS).