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Mission Statement

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.


  1. To provide reasonably free, safe, and unobstructed passage for waterborne traffic while considering the needs of land transportation.

  2. Ensure that drawbridge operating regulations provide for the reasonable needs of navigation and land transportation.

  3. Identify unreasonably obstructive bridges and order their removal or alteration.

  4. 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.

  5. Regulate bridge lighting for the safety of navigation and land traffic for every bridge which crosses waterways with significant nighttime navigation.

  6. Optimize resources to best meet growing workload and customer needs.

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Last Modified 1/12/2016