Safety and Operation
Drawbridge signal

When the bridges are opening and closing, pedestrians are required to remain outside of the barrier system until the operation is complete and the gates have been lifted. Vehicles are required to stop before the stop line where the “STOP HERE ON RED” arrows indicate when the bridge signal is showing red.

Vehicles shall not proceed until the bridge signal is green, regardless if the gates are already raised. There may be a rare situation when the bridge tender must lower the gates again because of an obstruction, malfunction or other problem.

Bridge tenders do appreciate pedestrian and motorist compliance with the posted signage. A bridge tender will not open, will not halt an opening or closing and will not close a bridge if a pedestrian or motorist is on the wrong side of the barrier or crosses the barrier during operation of the bridge. A bridge tender is also instructed to inform City Police when pedestrians or motorists refuse to comply. We encourage both pedestrians and motorists approaching a bridge in operation to think smart and be safe!

Operation

All three County bridges open on demand and may be hailed on VHF Channel 9. The bridges are locked down to accommodate rush hour vehicular traffic on non-holiday* weekdays from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 4:30 to 6 p.m. During these periods, the bridges will not open on demand per 33 CFR 117.313. However, the bridges shall allow the following vessels to pass at any time:

  • law enforcement vessels
  • tugs with tows
  • vessels in distress
  • flotilla operations during a declared emergency

*Broward County observes the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day (Thursday and Friday), and Christmas Day.