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Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Neches River, Beaumont, TX

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ACTION:

Notice of temporary deviation from regulations.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Kansas City Southern vertical lift span bridge across the Neches River, mile 19.5, at Beaumont, Texas. The deviation is necessary to replace south vertical lift joints on the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed to navigation for eight consecutive hours.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. through 3 p.m. on Wednesday, August 8, 2012.

ADDRESSES:

Documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of docket USCG-2012-0682 and are available online by going to http://www.regulations.gov, inserting USCG-2012-0682 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Kay Wade, Bridge Administration Branch, Coast Guard; telephone 504-671-2128, email Kay.B.Wade@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Kansas City Southern Railroad has requested a temporary deviation from the operating schedule of the vertical lift span bridge across the Neches River at mile 19.5 in Beaumont, Texas. The vertical clearance of the bridge in the closed-to-navigation position is 13 feet above Mean High Water and 140 feet above Mean High Water in the open-to-navigation position.

In accordance with 33 CFR 117.971, the vertical lift span of the bridge is automated and normally not manned but will open on signal for the passage of vessels. This deviation allows the vertical lift span of the bridge to remain closed to navigation from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, August 8, 2012.

The closure is necessary in order to replace the south vertical lift joints on the bridge, which allow the bridge to be raised. This maintenance is essential for the continued operation of the bridge. Notices will be published in the Eighth Coast Guard District Local Notice to Mariners and will be broadcast via the Coast Guard Broadcast Notice to Mariners System.

Navigation on the waterway consists of commercial and recreational fishing vessels, small to medium crew boats, and small tugs with and without tows. No alternate routes are available for the passage of vessels; however, the closure was coordinated with waterway interests who have indicated that they will be able to adjust their operations around the proposed work schedule. Small vessels may pass under the bridge while in the closed-to-navigation position provided caution is exercised.

The bridge will be able to open manually in the event of an emergency, but it will take about one hour to do so.

Due to prior experience and coordination with waterway users, it has been determined that this closure will not have a significant effect on vessels that use the waterway.

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.

Dated: July 17, 2012.

David M. Frank,

Bridge Administrator.

[FR Doc. 2012-18401 Filed 7-26-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9110-04-P