Friday, February 20, 2009

Government of Canada Announces Safety Regulations to Support the International Bridges and Tunnels Act, 2007

(Transport Canada)

Regulations are now in effect requiring owners of Canada's 24 international bridges and tunnels to inspect and report to the Minister of Transport on the safety of their structures on a regular basis.

The regulations apply to the Canadian sections of all of the vehicular international bridges and tunnels, and put into place requirements concerning reporting and scheduled inspections. There are also stipulations that require owners to provide the Minister of Transport with reports every two years on maintenance and operations of these structures. In addition, the reports would identify any necessary actions to ensure the structures are kept in good condition.

"These new safety measures will help ensure that international bridges and tunnels remain safe and secure for all who use them," said Canada's Transport Minister, John Baird. "They also demonstrate our government's commitment to the safety of Canadians and those who come to Canada for business and tourism. The safety of this important transportation infrastructure is also important to protect the vital trade links on which our economy depends."

The International Bridges and Tunnels Act, which received Royal Assent in 2007, has formalized the federal government's oversight responsibility for the operation, maintenance and security of international bridges and tunnels. The regulations will help satisfy this oversight responsibility.

The regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on February 18, 2009, and are now in effect.There are currently 24 international vehicular bridges and tunnels, and nine international railway structures with various forms of ownership and governance structures.