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Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Annisquam River and Blynman Canal, Gloucester, MA

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Blynman (SR127) Bridge across the Annisquam River and Blynman Canal at mile 0.0 at Gloucester, MA. The deviation is necessary due to the construction of a new operator's house. This deviation allows the bridge to be opened with a two hour advanced notice during the hours of 8 p.m. through 4 a.m. from December 6, 2016 through April 30, 2017.

DATES:

This deviation is effective without actual notice from December 9, 2016 through 4 a.m. on April 30, 2017. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from December 6, 2016, until December 9, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-1023] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Jeffrey Stieb, First Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, Coast Guard; telephone 617-223-8364, email Jeffrey.D.Stieb@uscg.mil.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Blynman (SR 127) Bridge across the Annisquam River and Blynman Canal, mile 0.0, at Gloucester, Massachusetts, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 8.2 feet at mean high water and 16 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.586. The owner of the bridge, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, requested a temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to open on signal after at least a two-hour advance notice is provided between the hours of 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. for the period of December 6, 2016 through April 30, 2017.

The settling of the operator's house has rendered the structure unsafe for occupancy. As a result, a temporary control system in a temporary booth has been installed. Electricians from a private contractor are required to operate the temporary control system at an extraordinary high cost to the bridge owner. The deviation will have negligible effect on vessel navigation. The waterways are transited primarily by seasonal recreation vessels of various sizes. Bridge records indicate an average of less than three requests for openings per month occurred during the hours covered by this deviation. The Coast Guard contacted local waterway users regarding the Commonwealth's request for a temporary deviation and received no objections.

Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridge will not be able to open immediately for emergencies. However, the northern entrance to the Annisquam River can be used as an alternate route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in closed position. The Coast Guard will inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact 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 effective period of this temporary deviation. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

Start Signature

Dated: December 6, 2016.

C.J. Bisignano,

Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.

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[FR Doc. 2016-29554 Filed 12-8-16; 8:45 am]

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