SYSTEMS OFFICE OF BRIDGE PROGRAMS
"Intermodal Mobility, Safety & Security"
To administer the various bridge statutes, environmental laws of the United States, pertinent regulations and policies in a timely, courteous, responsive and professional manner. This mission will contribute to the development of a safer, more efficient and convenient marine and land transportation system that will effectively utilize and conserve the nations resources in a cost efficient manner, while providing for the well-being, general safety, security, and interests of the citizens of the United States.
In 1967, the Bridge Program was transferred from the Army Corp of Engineers to the U.S. Coast Guard within the Department of Transportation. On 01 March 2003, the U.S. Coast Guard became an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard is responsible for approval of the location and plans of bridges and causeways constructed across navigable waters of U.S. In addition, the Coast Guard is responsible for approval of the location and plans of international bridges and the alteration of bridges found to be unreasonable obstructions to navigation. Authority for these actions is found in in the following laws: 33 U.S.C 401, 491, 494, 511-524, 525 and 535a, 535b, 535c, 535e, 535f, 535g, and 535h (Note: these are all separate sections, not subsections of 535). Section 535 and following is popularly known as the International Bridge Act of 1972. The Implementing regulations are found in Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations Parts 114 through 118.
To provide reasonably free, safe, and unobstructed passage for waterborne traffic while considering the needs of land transportation.
Ensure that drawbridge operating regulations provide for the reasonable needs of navigation and land transportation.
Identify unreasonably obstructive bridges and order their removal or alteration.
Ensure the timely engineering of bridge design and construction for bridge removal or alteration projects to remove unreasonable obstructions to navigation with due consideration for land traffic needs and the environment.
Regulate bridge lighting for the safety of navigation and land traffic for every bridge which crosses waterways with significant nighttime navigation.
Optimize resources to best meet growing workload and customer needs.
Bridge Program Service Standards
The U.S. Coast Guard provides for the reasonable needs of navigation for interstate commerce, national defense, and recreational vessel traffic. Our customers can expect that we will:
- Respond to 95% of fully responsive bridge permit applications for proposed new bridges and/or causeways or the modification of existing structures within 10 months of receipt of the request.
- Respond to 95% of requests from bridge owners, navigation interests or land transportation officials to review, evaluate, validate and approve or deny a request for new drawbridge operating regulations or to modify existing operating regulations within 12 months.
- Complete our investigations of purported unreasonably obstructive bridges and decide whether to issue an order to a bridge owner to alter their bridge within 18 months.
- Ensure successful completion of design and construction of a bridge found to be an unreasonable obstruction to navigation within five years for projects that cost less than $20M.
- Ensure successful completion of design and construction of a bridge found to be an unreasonable obstruction to navigation within eight years for projects that cost more than $20M.
- Respond to reports of deficiencies in bridge lighting or markings within 24 hours.
- Contact the bridge owner within 24 hours of discovery of a bridge lighting or marking deficiency to enable the owner to correct the deficiency.
- Issue a timely notice to mariners advising waterway users of the discrepancy until the deficiency is corrected to ensure intramodal safety.