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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Harlem River, Newtown Creek, NY

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, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to change the drawbridge operating regulations governing the operation of the Willis Avenue Bridge, mile 1.5, the Third Avenue Bridge, mile 1.9, the Madison Avenue Bridge, mile 2.3, all across the Harlem River and the Pulaski Bridge, mile 0.6, across Newtown Creek. This notice of proposed rulemaking would allow the bridge owner to keep the above bridges closed for periods of time on the first Sunday in both May and November in order to facilitate the running of the Five Borough Bike Tour and the New York City Marathon, respectively.

DATES:

Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before June 7, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments and related material 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joe Schmied, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, (212) 668-7195.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Comments

We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments or related material. If you do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking (CGD01-04-019), 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. 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 the First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, 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 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, at mile 2.3, across the Harlem River has a vertical clearance of 25 feet at mean high water and 29 feet at mean low water in the closed position.

The Third Avenue Bridge, at mile 1.9, across the Harlem River has a vertical clearance of 25 feet at mean high water and 30 feet at mean low water 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 Pulaski Bridge listed at 117.801(g) require it to open on signal if at least a two-hour advance notice is given.

The current operating regulations for the Willis Avenue, Third Avenue, and Madison Avenue bridges, require the bridges to open on signal from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., if at least four-hours notice is given.

The owner of the bridges, New York City Department of Transportation requested a change to the operating regulations for the Willis Avenue Bridge, the Third Avenue Bridge, the Madison Avenue Bridge, and the Pulaski Bridge, to facilitate the running of the Five Borough Bike Tour and the New York City Marathon on the first Sunday in both May and November, respectively. They requested the bridges be closed for various extended periods of time between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Traditionally, these bridge closures were accomplished each year by publishing a temporary final rule in the Federal Register with the bridge closures occurring at various times ranging from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. The closure times were established to coincide with the race route through the city.

This proposed rule would make the traditional closures part of the permanent drawbridge operation regulations. New York City Department of Transportation would provide the exact dates and times for each bridge several weeks in advance of the race. Those dates and times would be published in the Local Notice to Mariners.

The Coast Guard believes this rule is reasonable because it would simplify the traditional bridge closure process. Additionally, the bridge closures are on Sundays when the bridges normally receive no requests to open.

Discussion of Proposal

This proposed change would amend 33 CFR 117.789 by revising paragraph (c), which identifies the operating schedule of the Willis Avenue Bridge, the Third Avenue Bridge, and the Madison Avenue Bridge. This proposed rule would also amend 33 CFR 117.801 by revising paragraph (g), which identifies the operating schedule for the Pulaski Bridge.

This proposed rule would allow the bridges to remain in the closed position for various extended periods of time between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the first Sunday in both May and November to facilitate the running of the Five Borough Bike Tour and the New York City Marathon.

The Five Borough Bike Tour is run on the first Sunday in May. During this event the Third Avenue and Madison Avenue bridges, across the Harlem River, are usually closed from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and the Pulaski Bridge, across Start Printed Page 18005Newtown Creek, is normally closed from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The New York City Marathon is run on the first Sunday in November. During this event the Willis Avenue and Madison Avenue bridges, across the Harlem River, are normally closed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Pulaski Bridge, across Newtown Creek, is normally closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The exact dates and times each bridge will be closed for the future running of the Five Borough Bike Tour and the New York City Marathon may be slightly changed and will be published in the Local Notice to Mariners several weeks in advance of each respective event.

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 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.

This conclusion is based on the fact that the bridge closures are of short duration on a Sunday in May and November when the bridges normally do not receive any requests to open.

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.

The Coast Guard certifies under section 5 U.S.C. 605(b), that this proposed rule would 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 on a Sunday in May and November when the bridges normally do not receive any requests to open.

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.

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 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 would 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 E.O. 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 may disproportionately affect children.

Indian Tribal Governments

This 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 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.

Environment

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have concluded that there are no factors in this case that would limit the use of a categorical exclusion under section 2.B.2 of the Instruction. Therefore, this rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, from further environment documentation because it has been determined that the promulgation of operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges are categorically excluded.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

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Regulations

For the reasons set out 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; 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. Revise § 117.789(c) to read as follows:

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Harlem River.
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(c)(1) The draws of the bridges at 103 Street, mile 0.0, Willis Avenue, mile 1.5, Third Avenue, mile 1.9, Madison Avenue, mile 2.3, 145 Street, mile 2.8, Macombs Dam, mile 3.2, 207 Street, mile 6.0, and the two Broadway Bridges, mile 6.8, shall open on signal from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. if at least four hours notice is given to the New York City Highway Radio (Hotline) Room.

(2) The Willis Avenue Bridge, mile 1.5, the Third Avenue Bridge, mile 1.9, and the Madison Avenue Bridge, mile 2.3, need not open for vessel traffic between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the first Sunday in May and the first Sunday in November. The exact time and date of each bridge closure will be published in the Local Notice to Mariners several weeks prior to the first Sunday of both May and November.

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3. Revise § 117.801(g) to read as follows:

Newtown Creek, Dutch Kills, English Kills, and their tributaries.
* * * * *

(g)(1) The draw of the Pulaski Bridge, mile 0.6, and the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, mile 1.3, shall open on signal if at least a two hour advance notice is given to the New York City Department of Transportation Radio (Hotline) Room.

(2) The Pulaski Bridge, mile 0.6, need not open for vessel traffic between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the first Sunday in both May and November. The exact time and date of the bridge closure will be published in the Local Notice to Mariners several weeks prior to the first Sunday of both May and November.

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Dated: March 25, 2004.

John L. Grenier,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Commander, First Coast Guard District.

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[FR Doc. 04-7790 Filed 4-5-04; 8:45 am]

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