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Regulatory Handbook -> Federal Requirements -> Bridge Permit

Bridge Permit

What is the Purpose of this Permit?
Federal law prohibits the construction of any bridge across navigable waters of the United States unless first authorized by the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard approves the location and clearances of bridges through the issuance of bridge permits or permit amendments, under the authority of the General Bridge Act of 1946, Section 9 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, and other statutes. This permit is required for new construction, reconstruction or modification of a bridge or causeway over waters of the United States.
Who Issues this Permit?
United States Coast Guard
What Activities Require this Permit?
Construction or modification of bridges over navigable waters. "Navigable" waters is a legal determination that is not contingent on the waterway actually being navigated. Contact the Coast Guard Bridge Program to determine if a waterway is "navigable" and if the project will require a bridge permit. No other agency has the authority or expertise to make this determination.
How Much Will this Permit Cost?
None.
Where Can I Get the Application for this Permit?
The application which is called 'Coast Guard Bridge Permit Application' is online and can be accessed at http://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-Prevention-Policy-CG-5P/Marine-Transportation-Systems-CG-5PW/Office-of-Bridge-Programs/.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
There are a number of items to be included with the application. The best source of information can be found at http://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-Prevention-Policy-CG-5P/Marine-Transportation-Systems-CG-5PW/Office-of-Bridge-Programs/.

Project specific questions can be directed to the Coast Guard Bridge Administrator at (206) 220-7282.
Is the Decision on my Permit Dependent on Anything Besides the Information in my Application?
Issuance of a permit is dependent on the impacts the proposed project will have on navigation and the environment. The project will need to demonstrate consistency with the Clean Water Act Section 401, Coastal Zone Management Act, Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act, and a NEPA determination.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
Permit time frame is generally dictated by the above permit dependencies. There is a mandatory 30-day public comment period. Processing of the permit can take 10 months or longer, depending on complexity, after the Coast Guard receives a complete application package.
Where do I Submit my Application?
Submit your permit application along with all requisite supporting documentation to:
    Commander (dpw)
    Thirteenth Coast Guard District
    Attn: Bridge Administrator
    915 Second Avenue Suite 3510
    Seattle, WA 98174-1067
    D13-PF-D13BRIDGES@uscg.mil
How Long is my Permit Valid?
The permit is good for three years from the issuance date to start the project and five years from the issuance date to finish the project, but longer duration may be requested. Once the project is complete, the permit is good for the life of the unmodified, in-use bridge.
What is the Appeal Process for the Permit?
Denial of permit may be appealed to Commandant of U.S. Coast Guard within 60 days of District Commanders decision, and Commandant will take action within 90 days of receipt.
Notes / Comments:
None.
Statewide Contact:
United States Coast Guard
Commander 13th Coast Guard District
Attn: Bridge Administrator
915 Second Ave, Room 3510
Seattle, WA 98174-1067
Telephone: (206) 220-7282
Fax: (206) 220-7265
Website: http://www.pacificarea.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/District-13/District-Divisions/-dpw/-bridges/
* Permit information last updated 10/24/2017
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