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Version of document from 2006-03-22 to 2019-08-27:

Navigable Waters Bridges Regulations

C.R.C., c. 1231



Regulations Respecting Bridges Over Navigable Waters

Short Title

 These Regulations may be cited as the Navigable Waters Bridges Regulations.


 In these Regulations,


bridge includes a bridge under construction; (pont)


Minister means the Minister of Transport; (ministre)

movable span

movable span, without restricting the generality of the term, includes a lift, draw, swing and jackknife span. (travée mobile)


  •  (1) These Regulations apply to every bridge over a navigable water constructed after November 17, 1923.

  • (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), these Regulations do not apply to any bridge over a canal or over the waters of any public harbour to the extent that these Regulations conflict with any other regulations made or approved by the Governor in Council.

  • SOR/86-970, s. 1


 The Minister may prescribe lights or markings to be exhibited and the time during which the lights shall be exhibited on any bridge or on any span through or under which any passage to navigation is approved.

  • SOR/86-970, s. 2

 The owner of every bridge shall cause to be exhibited, maintained and operated at the bridge the lights and other aids to navigation prescribed by or under these Regulations.

  • SOR/86-970, s. 2

Approval of Plan

 Where a plan and description of a proposed bridge is required by the Navigable Waters Protection Act or the Railway Act to be submitted to the Minister for his approval, that plan and description shall indicate any lights or markings prescribed by the Minister pursuant to section 4.

  • SOR/86-970, s. 2

 Where a bridge consists of more than one span, the Minister may prescribe the span or spans through or under which any passage for navigation is approved.

  • SOR/86-970, s. 2

 [Revoked, SOR/86-970, s. 2]

Movable Spans

 Unless otherwise approved by the Minister, the owner of a movable span bridge shall maintain on duty in charge of the span at all times a responsible person who is trained to operate the span.

  • SOR/86-970, s. 3
  •  (1) The person in charge of a vessel passing through or under a bridge where two passages for navigation are approved shall use the passage on the vessel’s starboard side.

  • (2) The Minister shall make special provisions governing navigation through or under any bridge where more than two passages for navigation are approved.

 The signal to be given by a vessel for the purpose of having a movable span opened shall be three long blasts of a whistle or horn.

  •  (1) When the signal specified in section 12 is given by a vessel approaching a movable span bridge, the responsible person referred to in section 10 shall open the span immediately, or as soon thereafter as is reasonably possible, to permit the passage of the vessel.

  • (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Minister may prohibit the opening of any movable span during specified periods and the person in charge of the span shall not open it except under such conditions as may be prescribed by the Minister.

  • (3) The person in charge of a vessel shall not allow the vessel to enter a passage for navigation through or under a movable span until the span is fully open unless the vessel can safely move under the span while it is closed.

  • SOR/86-970, s. 4

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