Coast Guard extends temporary change to Gilmerton Bridge lift schedule

5th Coast Guard District News

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard is temporarily changing the regulations that govern the operation of the Gilmerton Bridge in Chesapeake Monday.

These are the same rules, with minimal changes, that have been tested since Dec. 20, 2010 that will remain in effect until Dec. 20, 2013.

The regulations are proposed to alleviate increased delays to vehicular traffic due to the construction of the Gilmerton Highway Bridge while still allowing passage to maritime traffic.

“Due to the construction of the Gilmerton Highway Bridge, the existing drawbridge has experienced increased delays to vehicular traffic from unscheduled vessel openings,” said Waverly Gregory, Coast Guard 5th District bridge administrator. “This schedule will provide adjustments and set opening periods for the bridge, relieving vehicular traffic congestion during the weekday and weekend daylight hours while still providing for the reasonable needs of navigation.”

Effective 6:30 a.m. June 19, 2011 through 6:30 p.m. December 20, 2013, the temporary regulations will allow the drawbridge to operate as follows:

(1) The drawbridge shall open on signal at anytime for commercial vessels carrying liquefied flammable gas or other hazardous materials;

(2) From 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, the drawbridge need not open for the passage of recreational or commercial vessels except for Federal holidays; the draw shall open anytime for commercial cargo vessels, including tugs, and tugs with tows, if two hours advance notice is given to the Gilmerton Bridge operators at 757-545-1512;

(3) From 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays, the draw shall open on signal hourly on the half hour; except the draw shall open anytime for commercial cargo vessels, including tugs, and tugs with tows, if two hours advance notice is given to the Gilmerton Bridge operators at 757-545-1512;

(4) If any vessel is approaching the bridge and cannot reach the draw exactly on the half hour, the draw tender may delay the opening up to 10 minutes past the half hour for passage of the approaching vessel and any other vessels that are waiting to pass;

(5) If the Norfolk and Southern Railroad Bridge #7, at mile 5.8, is not opened during a particular scheduled opening for the Gilmerton Bridge and vessels were delayed, the draw tender at the Gilmerton Bridge may provide a single opening for waiting vessels, once the Norfolk and Southern Railroad Bridge #7 reopens for vessels.

(6) At all other times, the draw shall open on signal.

Copies of Public Notice 5-1229, which describes the temporary changes in detail can be obtained by writing the office of the Commander (dpb), Fifth Coast Guard District, Federal Building, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704-5004, by calling 757-398-6222 or at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pagename=pnBridges

Comments and related materials received from the public are part of docket USCG-2010-0879 and are available online by going to http://www.regulations.gov, inserting USCG-2010-0879 in the “Keyword” box, and clicking “Search.”

 

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