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Drawbridge Operation Regulations: Harlem River, Newtown Creek, NY

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary final rule governing the operation of three New York City Bridges; the Third Avenue Bridge, mile 1.9, across the Harlem River between Manhattan and the Bronx, the Madison Avenue Bridge, mile 2.3, across the Harlem River between Manhattan and the Bronx, and the Pulaski Bridge, mile 0.6, across Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens. This temporary final rule authorizes the bridge owner to close the above bridges on May 7, 2000, at different times of short duration to facilitate the running of the Five Boro Bike Tour. Vessels that can pass under the bridges without a bridge opening may do so at any time.

DATES:

This temporary final rule is effective from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, are part of docket (CGD01-00-121) and are available for inspection or copying at the First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch Office, 408 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. John W. McDonald, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, (617) 223-8364.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

The Coast Guard has determined that good cause exists under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) to forego notice and comment for this rulemaking because notice and comment are impracticable. The Coast Guard believes notice and comment are impracticable because the requested closures are of such short duration. In the last two years, there have been few requests to open these bridges on Sunday during the hours they will be closed. Vessel traffic on the Harlem River and Newtown Creek is mostly commercial vessels that normally pass under the draws without openings. The commercial vessels that do require openings are work barges that do not operate on Sundays. The Coast Guard, for the reasons just stated, has also determined that good cause exists for this rule to be effective less than 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

Background

Third Avenue Bridge. The Third Avenue Bridge, mile 1.9, across the Harlem River between Manhattan and the Bronx, has a vertical clearance of 25 feet at mean high water and 30 feet at mean low water in the closed position. The existing operating regulations listed at § 117.789(c) require the draw to open on signal from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., if at least a four-hour notice is given to the New York City Highway Radio (Hotline) Room. From 5 p.m. to 10 a.m., the draw need not be opened for vessel traffic.

Madison Avenue Bridge. The Madison Avenue Bridge, mile 2.3, across the Harlem River between Manhattan and the Bronx, has a vertical clearance of 25 feet at mean high water and 29 feet at mean low water in the closed position. The existing operating regulations listed at § 117.789(c) require the draw to open on signal from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., if at least a four-hour notice is given to the New York City Highway Radio (Hotline) Room. From 5 p.m. to 10 a.m., the draw need not be opened for vessel traffic.

Pulaski Bridge. The Pulaski Bridge, mile 0.6, across the Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens, has a vertical clearance of 39 feet at mean high water and 43 feet at mean low water in the closed position. The existing operating regulations require the draw to open on signal at all times. Start Printed Page 20744

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) requested a change to the operating regulations for the Third Avenue Bridge, the Madison Avenue Bridge, and the Pulaski Bridge on May 7, 2000, to allow the bridges to remain in the closed position at different times to facilitate the running of the Five Boro Bike Tour.

The Third Avenue Bridge, mile 1.9, across the Harlem River between Manhattan and the Bronx and the Madison Avenue Bridge, mile 2.3, across the Harlem River between Manhattan and the Bronx, shall remain in the closed position from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 7, 2000. The Pulaski Bridge, mile 0.6, across the Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens, shall remain in the closed position from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on May 7, 2000.

Vessels that can pass under the bridges without bridge openings may do so at all times.

Regulatory Evaluation

This rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that Order. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under that Order. It is not “significant” under the regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Transportation (DOT) (44 FR 11040; February 26, 1979). This conclusion is based on the fact that the requested closures are of short duration and on Sunday morning when there have been few requests to open these bridges.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) we considered whether this rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. “Small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations less than 50,000.

The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This conclusion is based on the fact that the requested closures are of short duration and on Sunday when there have been few requests to open these bridges.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we offered to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they could better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process. Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247).

Collection of Information

This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

Federalism

We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13132 and have determined that this rule does not have implications for federalism under that Order.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) governs the issuance of Federal regulations that require unfunded mandates. An unfunded mandate is a regulation that requires a State, local, or tribal government or the private sector to incur direct costs without the Federal Government's having first provided the funds to pay those unfunded mandate costs. This rule will not impose an unfunded mandate.

Taking of Private Property

This rule will not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under E.O. 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

Civil Justice Reform

This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of E.O. 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

Protection of Children

We have analyzed this rule under E.O. 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and does not concern an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that may disproportionately affect children.

Environment

The Coast Guard considered the environmental impact of this rule and concluded that under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e) of Commandant Instruction M16475.1C, this rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation because promulgation of changes to drawbridge regulations have been found to not have a significant effect on the environment. A “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is available in the docket for inspection or copying where indicated under ADDRESSES.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

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Regulations

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For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends

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PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS

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1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 33 U.S.C. 499; 49 CFR 1.46; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g); section 117.255 also issued under the authority of Pub. L. 102-587, 106 Stat. 5039.

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2. In section 117.789, from 8 a.m. through 11 a.m. on May 7, 2000, paragraph (c) is temporarily suspended and a new paragraph (g) is added to read as follows:

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Harlem River
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(g) The draws of the Third Avenue Bridge, mile 1.9, and the Madison Avenue Bridge, mile 2.3, across the Harlem River between Manhattan and the Bronx, need not open for vessel traffic on May 7, 2000, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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3. In section 117.801, from 9 a.m. through 12 p.m. on May 7, 2000, a new paragraph (a)(5) is added to read as follows:

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Newtown Creek, Dutch Kills, English Kills, and their tributaries.

(a) * * *

(5) The draw of the Pulaski Bridge, mile 0.6, across the Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens, need not open for vessel traffic on May 7, 2000, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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Dated: April 6, 2000.

G.N. Naccara,

Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard Commander, First Coast Guard District.

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[FR Doc. 00-9639 Filed 4-17-00; 8:45 am]

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