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Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority (SLAC)


The Simpson Bay Lagoon is a haven for yachting and home to a large number of mega yachts, and also home to the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority (SLAC).

The Lagoon Authority is responsible for managing the Simpson Bay Lagoon (St. Maarten side) as well as the operation/maintenance of the bridges; collection of fees; with future prospective for planning, stimulating, executing, facilitating, coordinating, improving and managing on principles of business economics of the infrastructure and facilities of recreational.

The Lagoon Authority also strives to enhance and improve the environment of Simpson Bay and the Lagoon. SLAC also promotes the destination as one of the top yachting ports of call in the Caribbean.


SLAC Clearance Office: +1 721 545-3183
SLAC Project Manager: +1 721 520-2147

Email: | Website:

Simpson Bay Bridge/Causeway

On the St. Maarten side of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, there is one lifting bridge, the John Sainsborough Lejuez Bridge, better known to mariners as the Simpson Bay Bridge, which allows vessels out into Simpson Bay and the open sea.

The Causeway, is a swing bridge that gives access to the French side of the lagoon and down to the Airport and Cupecoy areas of the St. Maarten section of the lagoon.

Simpson Bay Bridge

The bridge is located in Simpson Bay. When the bridge is closed there is approximately 8.5 feet clearance on entry in the port channel and eight feet clearance in the starboard channel. Note: Clearance varies depending on the height of the tide.

Speed Limit:

In the bridge channel, fare ways and in the Lagoon a five mile per hour speed limit is in force for all vessels. Anchorage zones and marinas fall under “no wake zones.” The buoyage system used is IALA Zone B (“red-right-returning” – “American system”).


No anchorage is allowed in the fare ways. The access fare way from sea to the bridge channel should always stay open. The inbound traffic should position their vessels alongside the fare way so the outbound traffic has free passage to sea. East of the Princess Juliana International Airport, in the extension of the runway in the lagoon, is a no anchorage area.

Opening Times

of the Simpson Bay Bridge and Causeway

The opening times for the Simpson Bay Bridge and Causeway are listed here. For special bridge openings regarding the Causeway, vessels and brokers should contact their Marina or Agent.

Simpson bay bridge CAuseway
08:30 AM out 09:30 AM in 08:00 AM
10:30 AM out 11:30 AM in 10:00 AM
3:00 PM in 4:00 PM out 3:30 PM
5:00 PM in

Clearance office

Representatives of all vessels are urged to visit the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority Corporation (SLAC) Clearance Office located at the Simpson Bay Police Station just west of the bridge to settle harbour and clearance fees and when applicable bridge fees.

Please present the following documents:

- The immigration clearance documents.
- The customs clearance documents.
- The vessel registry.
- The vessel insurance policy document.
- The last payment invoice of bridge, harbour and clearance  fees, if applicable.

Maritime Affairs

St. Maarten

The Lagoon Authority is assisted by a number of entities such as the Maritime Department from Port St. Maarten in carrying out its operational/maintenance responsibilities.

  • Inspection of bridge channel entrance to the lagoon for any debris or irregularities is carried out by the end of October or  after the passing of inclement weather.
  • Maintain channel markers in accordance with IALA. Zone B  markers are from the entrance of the channel to the lagoon  until Porto Cupecoy.
  • Vessels are urged to contact the Bridge Operator on Marine  Channel 12 VHF. State name of vessel and intention to enter  or exit the lagoon, or transit the Causeway.
  • Entry Protocol: Vessels are recommended to stay close to the bridge when entering or exiting. The sequence for  vessels entering is preferably as follows: Cupecoy Marina;  is preferably as follows: Cupecoy Marina; Sint Maarten Shipyard Marina; Gateway Marina; Simpson Bay Marina, Port  de Plaisance Marina; Isle Del Sol Marina.
  • Vessels on anchor in Simpson Bay must stay clear of the  entrance/exit to the channel of Simpson Bay.
  • While exiting, vessels are requested to maintain safe speed  and keep to the starboard side of the channel, or exit the  channel when possible giving vessels astern of them the  possibility to keep up speed, thus shortening the opening  time of the bridge.
  • Road Traffic Signs: Signs for bridge openings are located  along the roadway in both directions at the bridge.
  • The Simpson Bay Bridge is inspected yearly by the European  Dutch firm SPIE which inspects multiple bridges and other  infrastructure throughout the Netherlands. For this an opera tional certificate is issued.

Hurricane Season Disclaimer

St. Maarten

Owners and operators of foreign cargo vessels are urged to take note of the path of any systems and take actions to secure their property, other than entering the lagoon. Vessels entering the lagoon for shelter are advised to take down all sails and awnings to decrease wind area. Use the largest anchor and chain available and ensure that proper chafing gear is in place. Make early preparations.