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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers and South Menomonee and Burnham Canals, Milwaukee, WI

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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Coast Guard, DHS.


Notice of proposed rulemaking.


The Coast Guard proposes to revise the drawbridge operating regulation for the Canadian Pacific (formerly Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific) railroad bridge over the Burnham Canal in Milwaukee, WI, allowing the bridge to remain closed to navigation due to infrequent use. This will allow the bridge owners to reduce maintenance and operation costs at a location where there is no known need for drawbridge openings.


Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before September 19, 2003.


You may mail comments and related material to Commander (obr), Ninth Coast Guard District, 1240 E. 9th Street, room 2019, Cleveland, Ohio, 44199-2060. Commander (obr), 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 and will be available for inspection or copying at the Bridge Administration Branch, Ninth Coast Guard District, between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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Mr. Scot Striffler, Bridge Administration Branch, at the address above or phone (216) 902-6084.

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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 [CGD09-03-215], 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 Start Printed Page 43067format, 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 Commander (obr), Ninth Coast Guard District, at the address under ADDRESSES 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 Canadian Pacific Railway bridge at mile 1.74 over Burnham Canal is a swing type bridge with a vertical clearance of approximately eight feet. In accordance with 33 CFR 117.1093, it is currently required to open for vessels if at least two-hours advance notice is provided prior to passing. Canadian Pacific Railway requested the Coast Guard allow the bridge to be maintained in the closed to navigation position since there have been no requests from vessels to open the bridge since June 13, 1997. There are no active marine facilities along the canal, and the area in Milwaukee Harbor where the bridge is located is part of a city re-development project. The City of Milwaukee Commissioner of Public Works and Commissioner of City Development offices have notified Canadian Pacific Railway in writing that they support this action.

Burnham Canal is a federal waterway. The waterway is reportedly no longer actively maintained by the Corps of Engineers. This rulemaking would allow the bridge to be untended and maintained in the closed to navigation position as per 33 CFR 117.39. However, the Coast Guard will retain the authority, should conditions make such an action necessary, to order the bridge owner to restore the bridge to an operable condition within 12 months of notification from Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District.

In addition to the regulation for the railroad bridge, the current regulation refers to “all other bridges across the Burnham Canal”. The only other bridge on the canal that falls within the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard Bridge Administration Program is the Interstate 94 bridge at mile 1.79, which is a fixed bridge, and should not be referred to in the drawbridge regulations. Therefore, the Coast Guard proposes removing this section from 33 CFR 117.1093.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

This proposed rule will allow the railroad bridge to remain closed, as it has been, and still be in compliance with Coast Guard requirements. With no requests to open the bridge since 1997, accordingly there is arguably no need and no known effects on navigation if this bridge is allowed to remain closed. If conditions change and commercial navigation resumes on Burnham Canal, the Coast Guard will require the railroad to restore the bridge to operation within 12 months.

An additional change that would result from this proposed rule is the elimination of a section of a drawbridge regulation that is obsolete. In addition to the Canadian Pacific bridge, only the I-94 bridge crosses Burnham Canal. This is a hi-level fixed bridge that does not require drawbridge regulations.

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 Homeland Security.

We expect the economic impact of this proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary.

Our preliminary investigation revealed no need for the bridge to be operable since 1997, with no vessels desiring an opening of the bridge. The owners of the land adjacent to the canal do not currently have plans to use the land for marine or commercial purposes. As stated, if these conditions were to change, then the bridge would be required to be operational again within 12 months of notification from the Coast Guard.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have 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.

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.

With no requests to open the bridge since 1997, the Coast Guard is unaware of any entities that may be affected by this proposed rule. If the bridge remains closed, only vessels that require less than eight feet vertical clearance may pass, which potentially could affect some entities. If this condition changes and there is a future need for greater clearances, the Coast Guard will require the bridge to be made operational again.

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 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 under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.).


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 may result in the expenditure by a Start Printed Page 43068State, 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 an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property

This proposed rule would not affect 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 rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might 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 would 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.


We have considered the environmental impact of this proposed rule and concluded that, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, this rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation. This action is categorically excluded under paragraph 32(e) as it is for the purpose of revising an operation regulation for this drawbridge. 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 the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 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; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170; 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 § 117.1093, revise paragraph (f) to read as follows:

Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers and South Menomonee and Burnham Canals.
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(f) The draw of the Canadian Pacific Railway bridge, mile 1.74 over Burnham Canal, need not be opened for the passage of vessels.

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Dated: June 14, 2003.

R.F. Silva,

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

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[FR Doc. 03-18379 Filed 7-18-03; 8:45 am]