Bridges and bridge regulations

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​​​This page contains guidelines for the construction of new bridges across navigable waters, maintenance and repair work on existing bridges and guidance related to bridge regulations.

From whom am I to apply for a permit? Before you start working, you must apply for a permit from the relevant authority:

  • Danish Coastal Authority: Fixed installations, bridges and geotechnical investigations in territorial waters.
  • Ministry of Transport: Large bridge projects, for example the construction of a new bridge crossing the Storstrømmen, are described in a construction act.

For an assessment of navigational safety in connection with maintenance work on bridges, you must follow the general guidelines for construction works at sea.

Impact on safety of navigation when establishing new bridges:

Risk analysis:

An in-depth analysis of the risks related to navigational safety is required when constructing new bridges across navigable waters. It must be coordinated as regards other stakeholders in the territorial waters and normally requires a VVM assessment (assessment of the environmental impact).

When the Danish Maritime Authority requests a major navigational risk assessment from a construction owner, it must be made in accordance with the guidelines published by United Nations' International Maritime Organization.

In general, it is necessary to make a separate analysis for the construction phase and the operational phase, respectively.

Maintenance and repairs:

In connection with maintenance and repair works, it must also be assessed whether it may involve any danger or inconvenience in connection with ship traffic in the area. This may be so in case of:

  • reductions of the free passage height or width
  • restrictions for bridges capable of being opened
  • traffic by work vessels or the like around the bridge

You must forward a description of the work to the Danish Maritime Authority (  giving the time/period, place, expected impact on ship traffic and description of the expected restrictions to navigation. The answers received in connection with the consultation of the parties affected are also to be enclosed. Direct blockage of the ship traffic around fixed bridges or bridges capable of opening, such as in the Limfjorden, must be avoided and will, in any circumstances, require a permit from the Danish Maritime Authority beforehand. In cases where this cannot be avoided, the work must be arranged so that the appropriate warning deadlines are kept as regards Notices to Mariners. When passage waters are blocked, warning deadlines of six months should be expected.

Requirements for the performance of the work:

  • It is important that the normal or agreed passage width and height be maintained.
  • The work must cause as little inconvenience as possible to the users of the waters.
  • Debris in connection with the work may constitute a risk. It must be ensured that this does not give rise to any danger to passing ships.

Bridge regulations

The Danish Maritime Authority has issued order no. 124 of 6 February 2015 on bridge regulations for bridges in Danish waters

The order provides guidelines for improving navigational safety around bridges.

Since bridges are in general very different, both in terms of design and traffic, it is not possible to lay down detailed regulations that can be used for all bridges. Therefore, the order does not contain any regulations or specific requirements for the passage of bridges. 

Consequently, the purpose of the order is to ensure that suitable bridge regulations are drawn up for each individual bridge, describing the provisions for the passage of the bridge. Therefore, the order contains the procedure for new bridge regulations and the procedures for amending existing bridge regulations. These procedures include consultation of the users of the waters and other stakeholders.
Existing bridge regulations in the Danish port pilot (Danish)

The promulgation of amended and new bridge regulations:

The Danish Maritime Authority promulgates notices on new bridge regulations or on approved amendments in Notices to Mariners addressed to ships and informs the Geodata Agency, which updates and navigational manuals in which the official bridge regulations are found. ​



Safety of Navigation, National Waters
Sikre farvande
+45 72 19 60 00