Coast Guard, DHS.
Notice of temporary deviation from regulations; request for comments, extension.
The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Flagler Memorial (SR A1A) Bridge, mile 1021.8, the Royal Park (SR 704) Bridge, mile 1022.6, and the Southern Boulevard (SR 700/80) Bridge, mile 1024.7, across the Start Printed Page 29439Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, at West Palm Beach, Florida. This deviation will extend the test to change the drawbridge operation schedules to determine whether permanent changes to the schedules are needed. This deviation allows the Flagler Memorial, Royal Park and Southern Boulevard Bridges to operate on alternative schedules when the President of the United States, members of the First Family, or other persons under the protection of the Secret Service visit Mar-a-Lago. This deviation is necessary to accommodate the increase in vehicular traffic when the presidential motorcade is in transit.
This deviation is effective without actual notice from June 25, 2018 through 11:59 p.m. on August 29, 2018. For purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 12:01 a.m. on June 1, 2018, until June 25, 2018.
Comments and relate material must reach the Coast Guard on or before July 25, 2018.
You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0273 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.
See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
If you have questions on this test deviation, call or email CWO Robert Wooten, Coast Guard Sector Miami, FL, Waterways Management Division, telephone 305-535-4311, email Robert.A.Wooten@uscg.mil.
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I. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis
On August 17, 2017, the Coast Guard published a notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation with request for comments in the Federal Register (82 FR 39019) to test proposed changes. Three comments were received, which were in favor of the regulation changes. Due to delays in processing this proposed regulatory change, on March 6, 2018, the Coast Guard published a notice of deviation from regulations with request for comments extension in the Federal Register (82 FR 9431) to allow for additional time for the public to comment. Two comments were received; one in favor of the regulation change and one was not relevant to the regulation. On May 21, 2018, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Palm Beach, FL in the Federal Register (83 FR 23398). The submission deadline for public comments related to that proposed rule is July 5, 2018. Due to unanticipated delays in processing this regulatory change, the Coast Guard finds it necessary to extend the test deviation to allow additional time for public comment. The changes to the operating schedules proposed in this deviation will coincide with the establishment of the Presidential Security Zone (82 FR 17295).
When the President of the United States, members of the First Family, or other persons under the protection of the Secret Service visit Mar-a-Lago, drawbridge openings have caused traffic backups in the West Palm Beach area. The increase in traffic congestion occurs when the presidential motorcade is in transit, which closes the Southern Boulevard Bridge to vehicle and vessel traffic. This action requires through traffic to use the Flagler Memorial and Royal Park Bridges. The Mayor of Palm Beach has asked the Coast Guard and the bridge owner, Florida Department of Transportation, to test a change to the operating regulations of those bridges.
During this temporary deviation, the Flagler Memorial Bridge is allowed to remain closed to navigation from 2:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with the exception of a once an hour opening at 2:15 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m., weekdays only, if vessels are requesting an opening. The Royal Park Bridge is allowed to remain closed to navigation from 2:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with the exception of a once an hour opening at 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., weekdays only, if vessels are requesting an opening. At all other times the bridges will operate per their normal schedules, published in 33 CFR 117.261(u) and (v), respectively.
The operating schedule of the Southern Boulevard Bridge, which is closest to Mar-a-Lago, will be allowed to remain closed to navigation whenever the presidential motorcade is in transit. At all other times the bridge shall open on the quarter and three-quarter hour, or as directed by the on-scene designated representative.
This test deviation will have an impact on marine traffic while alleviating some vehicle traffic backups. Tugs with tows are not exempt from this regulation. Vessels able to pass through the Flagler Memorial and Royal Park Bridges in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridges will be able to open for emergencies. The Southern Boulevard Bridge will be under the control of the on-scene designated representative.
The Coast Guard will also 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 drawbridges must return to their regular operating schedules 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.
II. Public Participation and Request for Comments
We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.
We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.
We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, visit http://www.regulations.gov/privacynotice.
Documents mentioned in this notice as being available in this docket and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.
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Dated: June 18, 2018.
Barry L. Dragon,
Director, Bridge Branch, Seventh Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2018-13498 Filed 6-22-18; 8:45 am]
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