Transport Canada bridges safety gap

OTTAWA — A proposed regulation would provide the federal Transport Minister with a better idea of the safety of Canada’s international bridges.

The regulation – in the International Bridges and Tunnels Act – would require owners of Canada’s 24 vehicular international bridges and tunnels to inspect and report on the safety of their structures on a regular basis.

The proposed regulations would apply to the Canadian sections of the vehicular international bridges and tunnels, and put into place requirements concerning reporting and scheduled inspections. They would also require reports every two years on maintenance and operations, including frequency and type of major maintenance performed, inspection results, the type of vehicles permitted and any restrictions placed on them.

In addition, the reports would also identify any necessary actions to ensure the structures are kept in good condition.

“These proposed regulations, coupled with the recently published alteration, construction, ownership and operation guidelines, will provide a consistent approach to ensuring that all international bridge and tunnel structures are properly managed and maintained,” says Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “This will help protect national security and the vital trade links on which our economy depends.”

The proposed amendments have been published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, and a 30-day response period will follow until April 21. After consideration of all comments received, Transport Canada will finalize the amendments and publish them in the Canada Gazette, Part II, at which time the regulations will come into effect.

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