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Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Mobile River, Hurricane, AL

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Coast Guard, DHS.


Notice of temporary deviation from regulations; request for comments.


The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the CSX Transportation Railroad vertical lift bridge across Mobile River, mile 13.3 near Hurricane, Alabama. This deviation is needed to collect and analyze information on vessel traffic when the bridge tender is moved to a geographically remote centralized control point located in Mobile, AL. The Coast Guard is seeking comments from the public about the impact to vessel traffic generated by this change.


This deviation is effective from 6 a.m. January 27, 2020 through 6 p.m. March 27, 2020.

Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before March 27, 2020.


You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2019-0911 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at

See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

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If you have questions about this test deviation, call or email Mr. Doug Blakemore, Eighth Coast Guard District Bridge Administrator; telephone (504) 671-2128, email

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I. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

CSX Railroad has established a central location to operate CSX drawbridges. They have requested to relocate the Mobile River bridge tender to their centralized location in Mobile, AL. This CSX vertical lift bridge is located at Mobile River, mile 13.3, Mobile County, near Hurricane, AL. It has a vertical clearance of 5.5' in the closed to vessel position. The bridge operates according to 33 CFR 117.5. Mobile River is used primarily by commercial tow and recreational vessels. The bridge opens for vessels about 6 times per day and vessels that do not need the bridge to open may pass.

This deviation will last for 60 days. CSX will collect data on all bridge openings to ensure that the remote operations will not impact navigation. CSX will immediately return the tender to the bridge location if there are any system failures or weather conditions that will not allow the bridge tender to operate the bridge from Mobile.

The Coast Guard will publish information about this temporary deviation in our Local and Broadcast Notice to Mariners so that mariners are informed of this operating change and our request for comments on the change.

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.

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 Start Printed Page 4588outcome of this deviation from drawbridge regulations. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this document, 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 If your material cannot be submitted using, 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 and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, visit​privacynotice.

Documents mentioned in this deviation from drawbridge regulations as being available in this docket and all public comments, will be in our online docket at 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 another document is published.

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Dated: January 8, 2020.

Douglas Allen Blakemore, Sr.,

Bridge Administrator, Eighth Coast Guard District.

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[FR Doc. 2020-00339 Filed 1-24-20; 8:45 am]