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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Sanibel Causeway Drawbridge, Okeechobee Waterway, Fort Myers, FL

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.

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to change the operating regulations of the Sanibel Causeway Drawbridge, mile 151, Okeechobee Waterway, Fort Myers, Florida. This proposed rule would allow the drawbridge to open on signal, except that from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday except Federal holidays, the draw need only open on the hour and half hour. On Saturday, Sunday and Federal holidays the draw shall open on signal, except that from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour, quarter hour, half hour and three quarter hour. This action is intended to improve the movement of vehicular traffic while not unreasonably interfering with the needs of navigation.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before April 5, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments and related material to Commander (obr), Seventh Coast Guard District, 909 S. E. 1st Avenue, Room 406, Miami, FL 33131. 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 [CGD07-01-144] and are available for inspection or copying at Commander (obr), Seventh Coast Guard District, 909 S. E. 1st Avenue, Miami, FL 33131 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Barry Dragon, Bridge Branch, 909 SE 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33130, telephone number 305-415-6743.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Comments

We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related material. If you do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking [CGD07-01-144], indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and give the reason for each comment. Please submit all comments and related material in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying. If you would like to know they reached us, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. We may change this proposed rule in view of them.

Public Meeting

We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for a meeting by writing to Bridge Branch, Seventh Coast Guard District, 909 SE 1st Ave, Room 406, Miami, FL 33131, explaining why one would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

Background and Purpose

The Sanibel Causeway bascule bridge is a two lane, narrow, undivided arterial roadway which is the only roadway onto and off of Sanibel Island. This roadway is severely congested due to insufficient vehicular capacity. The existing operating schedule is published in 33 CFR 117.317(j). The existing regulation allows the draw to open on signal; except that from 11 a.m. to 6 Start Printed Page 5077p.m., the draw need open only on the hour, quarter hour, half hour, and three quarter hour. From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., the draw will open on signal if at least a five minute advance notice is given. The proposed rule will allow the bridge to open the bridge on the hour and half hour during the heavy vehicle traffic period from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. each weekday.

From March 1, 2001 to April 30, 2001, the Coast Guard authorized a temporary deviation from the published regulations to determine the impacts of a change in the current operating regulation. The temporary deviation entitled Notice of temporary deviation from regulations (CGD07-01-005) was published on February 9, 2001 in 66 FR 9660. This temporary deviation allowed the bridge to open on signal, except that from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, the draw only had to open on the hour and half-hour. The five-minute advanced notice from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. in 33 CFR 117.317(j) remained in effect during the deviation. This test resulted in a minor improvement for vehicular traffic; however, during weekends and Federal holidays there was a significant increase in vessel traffic congestion while awaiting the timed bridge openings. Due to the strong currents and sea conditions in the immediate area where vessels were required to standby for the next bridge opening, vessel safety was reduced.

We received 72 timely comments from the public concerning the temporary deviation. Sixty-one of the comments supported the half-hour opening on the weekdays and 11 supported the quarter-hour opening on weekends during the testing period of March 1, 2001 to April 30, 2001. The 61 comments were from motorists and the 11 comments were from vessels owners.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

In order to meet the reasonable needs of navigation while not significantly impacting vehicular traffic, the Coast Guard proposes to allow the Sanibel Causeway bridge to open on signal, except that from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday except Federal holidays the bridge need open only on the hour and half hour. On Saturday, Sunday and Federal holidays the draw shall open on signal, except from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour, quarter hour, half hour, and three quarter hour. From 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily, the draw shall open on signal if at least five minutes advance notice is given to the bridge tender. This proposed rule will facilitate the movement of vehicle traffic across the bridge while not unreasonably interfering with or decreasing vessel safety while awaiting passage through the draw.

Regulatory Evaluation

This proposed rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, 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) because this proposed rule only slightly modifies the existing bridge operation schedule.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we considered whether this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The term “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 of less than 50,000.

This proposed rule may affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels and vehicles intending to transit under and over the Sanibel Causeway bridge during the hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because this proposed rule only slightly modifies the existing bridge operation schedule.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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

Federalism

A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on them. We have analyzed this proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it does not have implications for federalism.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that my result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $1,000,000 or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property

This proposed rule would not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

Civil Justice Reform

This proposed rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. Start Printed Page 5078

Protection of Children

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

Environment

We considered the environmental impact of this proposed rule and concluded that, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e) of Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, this proposed rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation.

Indian Tribal Governments

This proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a 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 proposed 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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For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

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PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS

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).

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2. Section 117.317(j) is revised to read as follows:

Okeechobee Waterway.
* * * * *

(j) The draw of the Sanibel Causeway bridge, mile 151, shall open on signal, except that from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday except Federal holidays, the draw need only open on the hour and half hour. On Saturday, Sunday and Federal holidays the draw shall open on signal, except from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour, quarter hour, half hour, and three quarter hour. From 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily, the draw shall open on signal if at least five minutes advance notice is given to the bridge tender.

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Dated: January 16, 2002.

James S. Carmichael,

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

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[FR Doc. 02-2636 Filed 2-1-02; 8:45 am]

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