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Drawbridge Operation Regulations: Harlem River, Newtown Creek, NY

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary final rule governing the operation of the Willis Avenue Bridge, mile 1.5, and the Madison Avenue Bridge, mile 2.3, both across the Harlem River, and the Pulaski Bridge, mile 0.6, across Newtown Creek in New York City, New York. This temporary final rule allows the bridge owner to close the above three bridges on November 4, 2001, as follows: Willis Avenue and Madison Avenue bridges from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Pulaski Bridge from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This action is necessary to facilitate public safety during the running of the New York City Marathon.

DATES:

This temporary final rule is effective on November 4, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Documents as indicated in this preamble are available for inspection or copying at the First Coast Guard District Office, 408 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02110, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is (617) 223-8364.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Joe Schmied, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, at (212) 668-7165.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:Start Printed Page 52688

Regulatory History

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was not published for this regulation. Good cause exists for not publishing a NPRM and for making this regulation effective in less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Conclusive information about the New York City Marathon was not provided to the Coast Guard until September 10, 2001, making it impossible to draft or publish a NPRM or a final rule 30 days in advance of its effective date. This closure is not expected to have a significant impact on navigation because 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.

Any delay encountered in this regulation's effective date would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest since immediate action is needed to close the bridge in order to provide for public safety and the safety of marathon participants.

Background and Purpose

The Willis Avenue Bridge, mile 1.5, across the Harlem River has a vertical clearance of 24 feet at mean high water (MHW) and 30 feet at mean low water (MLW) in the closed position. The Madison Avenue Bridge, mile 2.3, across the Harlem River has a vertical clearance of 25 feet at MHW and 29 feet at MLW in the closed position. The Pulaski Bridge across Newtown Creek, mile 0.6, has a vertical clearance of 39 feet at MHW and 43 feet at MLW in the closed position.

The current operating regulations for the Willis Avenue and Madison Avenue bridges, listed at 33 CFR 117.789(c), require the bridges to open on signal from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., if at least four-hours notice is given. The current operating regulations for the Pulaski Bridge listed at 117.801(g) require it to open on signal if at least a two-hour advance notice is given.

The bridge owner, New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), requested a temporary change to the operating regulations governing the Willis Avenue Bridge, the Madison Avenue Bridge, and the Pulaski Bridge, to allow the bridges to remain in the closed position at different times on November 4, 2001, to facilitate the running of the New York City Marathon. Vessels that can pass under the bridges without bridge openings may do so at all times during these bridge closures.

Regulatory Evaluation

This temporary final 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. It has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under that Order. It is not significant under the regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Transportation (DOT) (44 FR 11040; Feb. 26, 1979). The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this temporary final rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10e of the regulatory policies and procedures of DOT is unnecessary. 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.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) we considered whether this temporary final 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 bridge closures are of short duration and on Sunday when there have been few requests to open these bridges.

Collection of Information

This temporary final rule does not provide for a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

Federalism

The Coast Guard has analyzed this temporary final rule in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 12612 and has determined that this temporary final rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

Environment

The Coast Guard considered the environmental impact of this temporary final rule and concluded that, under Section 2.B.2., Figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of Commandant Instruction M16475.1C, this temporary final rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation because promulgation of changes to drawbridge regulations have been found not to have a significant effect on the environment. A written “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is not required for this temporary final rule.

Indian Tribal Governments

This final rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

Energy Effects

We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. It has not been designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.

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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. On November 4, 2001, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in § 117.789 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 bridges at 103rd Street, mile 0.0, 3rd Avenue, mile 1.9, 145th Street, mile 2.8, Macombs Dam, mile 3.2, 207th Street, mile 6.0, and the Start Printed Page 52689two Broadway Bridges, mile 6.8, shall open on signal if at least four-hours notice is given to the New York City Highway Radio (Hotline) Room. The Willis Avenue Bridge, mile 1.5, and Madison Avenue Bridge, mile 2.3, need not open for vessel traffic.

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3. On November 4, 2001, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., § 117.801 (g) is temporarily suspended and a new paragraph (h) is added to read as follows:

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Newtown Creek, Dutch Kills, English Kills, and their tributaries.
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(h) The draw of the Pulaski Bridge, mile 0.6, across Newtown Creek, need not open for vessel traffic. The Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, mile 1.3, across Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens, shall open on signal if at least a two-hour advance notice is given to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Radio Hotline or NYCDOT Bridge Operations Office.

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Dated: October 5, 2001.

G.N. Naccara,

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

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[FR Doc. 01-26152 Filed 10-16-01; 8:45 am]

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