Why does the bridge sometimes open during restricted rush hour periods?

Great Bridge BridgeDuring restricted rush hour periods, lifts are limited to commercial vessels with a 2-hour reservation. For security reasons, it is required that our bridge operators (the Public Works employee who controls the bridge opening) always allow vessels transporting hazardous materials to transit the waterway at any time without any reservations. These vessels are more commonly known as "red flag" vessels. The same policy also applies to Coast Guard, police, or any boat that has declared an emergency.

For restricted periods for each bridge, please consult the individual bridge's webpage or the bridge brochure (PDF).

Please note that a restricted period of (for example) 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. means that the last opening for a waterway user may occur just before 7 a.m. (and run until all vessels waiting at the bridge have passed), but the next bridge opening will not begin until 9 a.m. (unless there is a commercial vessel with a two-hour advanced reservation or a vessel carrying hazardous materials). The City makes every effort to keep lifts within the designated lift times.

Bridge lifts for commercial vessels with two-hour advanced reservations during restricted rush hour periods are normally communicated to metro traffic radio and other media outlets.

Show All Answers

1. What is the average length of a bridge opening?
2. Why does the bridge sometimes open during restricted rush hour periods?
3. Why do pleasure craft sometimes pass during restricted rush hour periods?
4. Can you tell citizens when the bridge will be open longer than usual?
5. Can't the City just change the hours for lifts?
6. Which bridges are owned and operated by the City of Chesapeake?
7. Who owns and operates the other movable bridges in the City?
8. Is there a time of year that the openings are heavier than others?
9. Do any of the bridges have weight restrictions?
10. How can boaters be aware of changes while traveling on the waterway?