Coast Guard, DHS.
Notice of temporary deviation from regulations and request for comment.
The Commander, First Coast Guard District, has issued a temporary deviation from the drawbridge operation regulations to test an alternate drawbridge operation regulation for the AMTRAK Portal Bridge, mile 5.0, across the Hackensack River at Little Snake Hill, New Jersey. Under this temporary 90-day deviation the two time periods in the morning and afternoon, Monday through Friday, when the bridge may remain closed to vessel traffic, will be expanded. Additional bridge openings will be provided for commercial vessels after at least a one-hour advance notice is given. The purpose of this temporary deviation is to test an alternate drawbridge operation schedule for 90 days and solicit comment from the public.
This deviation is effective from March 1, 2004 through May 29, 2004. Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before 30 June 2004.
You may mail comments to Commander (obr), First Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, One South Street, Battery Park Building, New York, New York, 10004, or deliver them to the same address between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except, Federal holidays. The telephone number is (212) 668-7165. The First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, 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 First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Request for Comments
We encourage you to participate in this schedule test by submitting comments or related material. If you do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking (CGD01-04-012), 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 if they reached us, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Gary Kassof, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, at (212) 668-7165.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The AMTRAK Portal Bridge has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 23 feet at mean high water and 28 feet at mean low water. The existing drawbridge operation regulations are listed at 33 CFR 117.723(c).
The bridge owner, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) requested a temporary deviation from the drawbridge operation regulations to test for a period of 90 days, an alternate drawbridge operation schedule. This temporary 90-day deviation will expand the two time periods in the morning and afternoon Monday through Friday when the bridge may remain closed to vessel traffic. Rail traffic during the morning and afternoon commuter periods have increased. Bridge openings during the two commuter time periods have caused delays to rail traffic prompting the bridge owner to request the expansion of the bridge closure periods week days, Monday through Friday.
The existing drawbridge operation regulations allow the bridge to remain closed to vessel traffic, Monday through Friday, from 7:20 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m., daily.
Under this 90-day temporary deviation, effective from March 1, 2004 through May 29, 2004, the AMTRAK Portal Bridge need not open for vessel traffic, Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., daily.
Additional bridge openings will be provided for commercial vessels from 6 a.m. to 7:20 a.m., from 9:20 a.m. to 10 a.m., from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 6:50 p.m. to 8 p.m., if at least a one-hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.
This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR § 117.43.Start Signature
Dated: February 13, 2004.
John L. Grenier,
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Commander, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 04-4280 Filed 2-25-04; 8:45 am]
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