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Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Grassy Sound Channel, Middle Township, NJ

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Coast Guard, DHS.


Notice of temporary deviation from regulations.


The Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District, has issued a temporary deviation from the regulations governing the operation of the Grassy Sound Channel Bridge across the Grassy Sound Channel, mile 1.0, at Middle Township, NJ. The deviation is necessary to facilitate the cleaning and painting of the structure. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed for the entirety of the deviation period.


This deviation is effective from 5 a.m. on March 1, 2011 to 5 p.m. on April 30, 2011.


Documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of docket USCG-2011-0080 and are available online by going to, inserting USCG-2011-0080 in the “Keyword” box and then clicking “Search”. They are also available for inspection or copying at the Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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If you have questions on this rule, call or e-mail Mr. Terrance A. Knowles, Environmental Protection Specialist, Fifth District; Coast Guard; telephone 757-398-6587, e-mail If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

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The Cape May County Bridge Commission (CMCBC), who owns and operates this bascule drawbridge, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating schedule to facilitate the cleaning and painting of the bridge structure. Under the regular operating schedule required by 33 CFR 117.721, the draw of the bridge shall open on signal from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., from May 15 through September 30. From 9:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday in March of every year, the draw need not open for vessels. If the fourth Sunday falls on a religious holiday, the draw need not open from 9:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the third Sunday of March of every year. Two hours advance notice is required for all other openings by calling (609) 368-4591.

The Grassy Sound Channel Bridge, mile 1.0, in Middle Township NJ, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 15 feet above mean high water. Vessels that can transit under the bridge without an opening may do so at any time. Under this temporary deviation, CMCBC will maintain the bridge in the closed position to vessels beginning at 5 a.m. on March 1, 2011 through 5 p.m. on April 30, 2011.

Historically, in the last two years, the bridge has not opened during the months of March and April.

The Coast Guard will inform users of the waterway through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the closure periods for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

The drawbridge will open in the event of an emergency. Vessels that can pass under the bridge without a bridge opening may do so at all times. Vessels have an alternate route by transiting through the nearby Great Channel drawbridge, a detour of approximately two miles.

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 3, 2011.

Waverly W. Gregory, Jr.,

Chief, Bridge Administration Branch, Fifth Coast Guard District.

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[FR Doc. 2011-6072 Filed 3-15-11; 8:45 am]