planning drawing


The City of Thornton, through its Engineering Services Division, is responsible for overseeing capital improvements, the City's GIS system, surveying and for maintaining the City's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).


Please consider reaching out to us via email or our MyThornton app. Visit the Contact City of Thornton featured link for more information.

​Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Engineering

Manages the design and construction of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) such as streets, bridges, drainage, water, sewer, trails, and streetscaping.

Visit the current project map here.


Infrastructure Engineering issues the following types of ROW (right of way) permits:

  • Capital Improvement Program (CIP)
  • Franchise (work being done for CenturyLink, Comcast, United Power, or Xcel Energy)
  • Sewer/Water Service for work on Thornton utilities that extend from the yard to sidewalk/street (ROW) and are within City limits
  • Sewer/Water Service for work on Thornton utilities that are in-yard only and outside City limits (i.e. Unincorporated Adams County or Denver)
  • General (work that is not CIP, or Franchise; includes boring, potholing, utilities, curb cuts, and chase drains)

To apply for Infrastructure ROW Construction and/or Traffic Control permits click here and scroll to the header that reads Infrastructure (City Project Only) Permit Applications.

If you have any questions, please call the Infrastructure Engineering office at 720-977-6210, or email

Utility Locates

All residents, professional excavators, or anyone planning to dig must "Call Before you Dig," it's the law. 

Thornton staff will respond to water, sanitary sewer, and storm line locate requests for lines in the right-of-way made through Colorado 811. City staff does not do locates on private property.

Contact Colorado 811 to schedule a utility locate: Dial 811 or 1-800-922-1987

Infrastructure Geographic Information Systems (GIS)  

GIS combines layers of information about a place to give you a better understanding of that place. What layers of information you combine depends on your purpose—finding the best location for a new store, analyzing environmental damage, viewing similar crimes in a city to detect a pattern, and so on.

​Thornton uses GIS to map and maintain information on infrastructure (water, sewer, and storm lines, etc.) and parcel information (parcel lines, zoning, land use, etc.). The GIS is used to produce data and maps for meetings, presentations, mailings, and other staff needs. If you are interested in obtaining a GIS map or data please refer to our pricing guide.

​Survey Section  

The Survey Section provides surveying services and technical information to the CIP (Capital Improvement Program) Section, other Thornton departments, citizens, and consultants. Those services include computer drafting, topographic surveys, legal descriptions, and plat reviews.

Survey Control for City of Thornton Projects
Horizontal Control

​Thornton does not maintain a survey network.  Please use NGS monuments and/or the Adams County Network for your control points when working on Thornton projects.

Vertical Control

The vertical datum must be based upon the North American Vertical Datum 1988 (NAVD 88).  You may use the Thornton Benchmarks, which are downloadable below, Benchmarks from NGS and the Adams County Control points.

Benchmark descriptions are now available in a downloadable pdf format which requires Adobe Reader

Thornton Benchmarks