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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Saginaw River, MI

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Coast Guard, DOT.


Notice of proposed rulemaking.


The Coast Guard proposes to revise the operating regulation governing drawbridges over Saginaw River in Bay City, Michigan. The proposed rule would update current owners of railroad bridges, add a bridge that has been constructed, remove a bridge that has been demolished, and assign standardized mile marker designations. The revision was requested by the Michigan Department of Transportation and the city of Bay City, Michigan, to update the regulation for bridges on Saginaw River.


Comments must be received on or before July 9, 2002.


You may mail comments and related material to Commander (obr), Ninth Coast Guard District, 1240 East Ninth Street, Room 2019, Cleveland, OH, 44199-2060. Ninth Coast Guard District maintains the public docket for this rulemaking. Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, will become part of this docket (CGD09-02-017) and are available for inspection or copying at the address above between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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Mr. Scot M. Striffler, Project Manager, Ninth Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, at (216) 902-6084.

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Request for Comments

The Coast Guard encourages interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written data, views or arguments for or against this rule. Persons submitting comments should include names and addresses, identify the rulemaking (CGD09-02-017) and the specific section of this proposed rule to which each comment applies, and give the reason(s) for each comment. Please submit all comments and attachments in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. Persons wanting acknowledgement of receipt of comments should enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.

Public Meeting

The Coast Guard plans no public hearing. Individuals may request a public hearing by writing to the address under ADDRESSES. The request should include the reasons why a hearing would be beneficial. If the Coast Guard determines that the opportunity for oral presentation will aid this rulemaking, we will hold a public hearing at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

Background and Purpose

The current bridge operating regulations for drawbridges over Saginaw River are found in 33 CFR § 117.647. The city of Bay City operates all highway drawbridges on Saginaw River, including the Veterans Memorial bridge and Lafayette Street bridge, miles 5.6 and 6.78, respectively, which are owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The current regulation does not contain an operating schedule for the Liberty Street bridge, which was constructed in 1987. The former Sixth Avenue bridge at mile 17.1 was removed in 1985.

In addition to the proposed changes for the highway bridges, the railroad bridges listed at miles 2.5 and 4.4, respectively, have changed ownership and would be updated through this rulemaking.

The mile marker designations for the bridges listed in this rulemaking will be revised to reflect the mile markers used in the United States Coast Pilot for proper cross-reference.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

The city of Bay City, Michigan has asked the Coast Guard to update § 117.647 by adding an operating schedule for Liberty Street bridge, which is located between Independence bridge and Veterans Memorial bridge. The current regulation has established bridge openings from March 16 to December 15 each year, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays, to provide a continuous flow of vessels between Independence and Lafayette Street bridges during the busiest periods of vessel traffic on the river. All four highway bridges open twice an hour for pleasure vessels between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Two of the four bridges open on the hour and half-hour, while the other two bridges open on the quarter hour and three-quarter hour. This schedule is designed to have each bridge open in succession as vessels pass through. With the addition of Liberty Street bridge, this proposed rule would correctly place the bridges in proper order. The Veterans Memorial and Lafayette Street bridges will be adjusted to place them in the proper order for successive passage.

The Sixth Street bridge will be removed from the regulation because the bridge no longer exists. The names of the former Detroit and Mackinac and Conrail railroad bridges, miles 2.5 and Start Printed Page 317464.4, respectively, will be updated to reflect the current owners.

In addition, the mile markers for all listed bridges will be corrected to match the mile marker listings in the U.S. Coast Pilot to eliminate confusion and provide proper cross-references.

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). The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10e of the regulatory policies and procedures of DOT is unnecessary.

This determination is based on the relatively minor adjustments to the current regulation. There are no additional limitations placed on navigation, and the proper sequencing of bridge openings is expected to improve service to navigation and vehicular traffic.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Coast Guard must consider whether this proposed rule will have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. “Small entities” may include small businesses and 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 people.

The proposed schedule is not expected to place any additional limitations on passing vessel traffic. No identified entities would be unable to pass the bridges, as needed. Therefore, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C 605(b) that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this proposed 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 proposed rule would economically affect it.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 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 proposed rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the Bridge Administration Branch, Ninth Coast Guard District, at the address above.

Collection of Information

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


The Coast Guard has analyzed this proposed rule under the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132, and determined that this proposed rule does not have federalism implications under that Order.

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 may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule will not result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property

This proposed rule will 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.

Protection of Children

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This proposed 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.

Indian Tribal Governments

This proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it will 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 responsibility 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 it 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.


The Coast Guard considered the environmental impact of this proposed rule and concluded that, under figure 2-1, paragraph 32(e) of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, this proposed rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation. A “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

  • Bridges
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For reasons set out in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend Part 117 of Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

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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 § 117.647, revise paragraph (a), and paragraphs (b), introductory text, (b)(3), and (b)(4); remove paragraph (c); Start Printed Page 31747and redesignate paragraphs (d) and (e) as paragraphs (c) and (d), to read as follows:

Saginaw River.

(a) The draws of the Lake State Railways railroad bridge, mile 3.10 at Bay City, and the Central Michigan railroad bridge, mile 4.94 at Bay City, shall open on signal; except that, from December 16 through March 15, the draws shall open on signal if at least 12 hours advance notice is provided.

(b) The draws of the Independence bridge, mile 3.88, Liberty Street bridge, mile 4.99, Veterans Memorial bridge, mile 5.60, and Lafayette Street bridge, mile 6.78, all in Bay City, shall open on signal from March 16 through December 15, except as follows:

(1) * * *

(3) From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays, the draws of the Independence and Veterans Memorial bridges need not be opened for the passage of pleasure craft except from three minutes before to three minutes after the hour and half-hour.

(4) From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays, the draws of the Liberty Street and Lafayette Street bridges need not be opened for the passage of pleasure craft, except from three minutes before to three minutes after the quarter hour and three-quarter hour.

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Dated: April 29, 2002.

James D. Hull,

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

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[FR Doc. 02-11718 Filed 5-9-02; 8:45 am]