The Coast Guard has jurisdiction over bridges which cross the navigable waters of the United States. Our authority relates to the location, clearances of bridges, bridge permits, construction activities, navigation lights and signals at bridges, and the regulations which govern the operation of drawbridges.
Within the District Eleven, this authority is administered by the Bridge Section in the Waterways Branch. Our office hours are 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily (Pacific Standard Time). Contact us by mail or e-mail.
Many drawbridges in California have special operating regulations and are not attended at all times. Also, the Coast Guard sometimes modifies drawbridge regulations to facilitate bridge maintenance. The prudent mariner will check the drawbridge regulations and the Local Notice to Mariners (for temporary changes) before transiting drawbridges. These regulations may be found in 33 CFR 117 Supbart B.
Mariners may request bridge openings by radiotelephone (not available at all bridges), whistle/ horn, or visual signals. Please go to 33 CFR 117 Appendix A to see a list of bridges which have radiotelephones and the regulations governing the signals.
If you have trouble getting a drawbridge to open, or observe problems with bridge lights and signals, please report it to us or to the nearest Coast Guard unit. Please report other problems affecting safe passage through bridges, such as the accumulation of debris, vessels moored in the draw, etc. as well.
Please contact us if you need information about specific bridge projects, clearances for bridges beyond the limits of navigation charts, or other information about the Coast Guard bridge program. Some other agencies, such as the California Department of Transportation have information about the bridge projects in which they are involved.