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Drawbridge Operating Regulations; Berwick Bay, (Atchafalaya River) Morgan City, LA

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Coast Guard, DHS.


Notice of temporary deviation from regulations.


The Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, has issued a temporary deviation from the regulation governing the operation of the BNSF Railway Company Vertical Lift Span Bridge across Berwick Bay, mile 0.4, (Atchafalaya River, mile 17.5) at Morgan City, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. This deviation provides for the bridge to remain closed to navigation for 12 consecutive hours to conduct scheduled maintenance to the drawbridge.


This deviation is effective from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 14, 2007.


Materials referred to in this document are available for inspection or copying at the office of the Eighth Coast Guard District, Bridge Administration Branch, Hale Boggs Federal Building, Room 1313, 500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-3310 between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is (504) 671-2128. The Bridge Administration Branch maintains the public docket for this temporary deviation.

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David Frank, Bridge Administration Branch, telephone (504) 671-2128.

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The BNSF Railway Company has requested a temporary deviation in order to replace the railroad signal circuits of the BNSF Railway Railroad Vertical Lift Span Bridge across Berwick Bay, mile 0.4 (Atchafalaya River, mile 17.5) at Morgan City, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Replacement of the signal circuits is necessary to turn the lining of signals across the bridge into a fully automatic operation so that the bridge will be in full compliance with requirements of the Federal Railroad Administration. This temporary deviation will allow the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 14, 2007. The proposed work was previously scheduled for Wednesday, December 13, 2006 and Wednesday, February 7, 2007, but had to be postponed. The bridge owner is now prepared to complete the work and has coordinated the closure with all departments within the railroad. There may be times, during the closure period, when the draw will not be able to open for emergencies.

The bridge provides 4 feet of vertical clearance in the closed-to-navigation position. Thus, most vessels will not be able to transit through the bridge site when the bridge is closed. Navigation on the waterway consists of tugs with tows, fishing vessels and recreational craft including sailboats and powerboats. Due to prior experience, as well as coordination with waterway users, it has been determined that this closure will not have a significant effect on these vessels.

In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridge must return to its regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the designated time period. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

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Dated: March 20, 2007.

Marcus Redford,

Bridge Administrator.

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[FR Doc. E7-5612 Filed 3-27-07; 8:45 am]