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Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Elizabeth River, Eastern Branch, Norfolk, VA

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Coast Guard, DHS.


Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.


The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the draw of the Norfolk Southern #5 Railroad Bridge, across the Elizabeth River Eastern Branch, mile 1.1, at Norfolk, VA. This deviation is necessary to facilitate replacing the broken tread plates and shimming the remaining tread plates to the proper elevation on the Norfolk Southern #5 Railroad drawbridge. There are a total of 10 tread plates that need to be replaced. This temporary deviation allows the drawbridge to remain in the closed to navigation position.


This deviation is effective from 10 a.m. on August 19, 2013 to 6 p.m. August 30, 2013.


The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2013-0684] is available at Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 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 temporary deviation, call or email Mrs. Kashanda Booker, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard; telephone (757) 398-6227, email If you have questions on reviewing the docket, call Barbara Hairston, Program Manager, Docket Operations, 202-366-9826.

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The Norfolk Southern Corporation, who owns and operates this drawbridge, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulation set out in 33 CFR 117.5 to facilitate thermite welding on the rails.

Under the regular operating schedule, the Norfolk Southern #5 Railroad Bridge, mile 1.1, in Norfolk, VA, the draw must open promptly and fully for the passage of vessels when a request or signal to open is given. The draw normally is maintained in open-to-navigation position and only closes for train crossings or periodic maintenance. The Norfolk Southern #5 railroad Bridge, at mile 1.1, across the Elizabeth River (Eastern Branch) in Norfolk, VA, has a vertical clearance in the closed position to vessels of 6 feet above mean high water.

Under this temporary deviation, the drawbridge will be maintained in the closed to navigation position each day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on August 19, 2013 until August 30, 2013. At all other times, the drawbridge will operate under its normal operating schedule. The drawbridge normally is maintained in the open-to-navigation position with Start Printed Page 49921several vessels transiting a week and only closes when trains transit. Emergency openings cannot be provided during the closure period. There are no alternate routes for vessels transiting this section on the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River; however, vessels requiring an opening may pass before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. Mariners able to pass under the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time and are advised to proceed with caution.

The Elizabeth River Eastern Branch is used by a variety of vessels including military, tugs, commercial, and recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully coordinated the restrictions with these waterway users. The Coast Guard will also inform additional waterway users 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 impacts caused by the temporary deviation.

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: August 6, 2013.

Waverly W. Gregory, Jr.,

Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.

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[FR Doc. 2013-19953 Filed 8-15-13; 8:45 am]