Coast Guard issues deviation for Berkley Bridge opening

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Fifth Coast Guard District commander has issued a temporary deviation from the regulation governing the operating schedule of the Berkley Bridge across the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River at Norfolk, Va., at the request of the Virginia Department of Transportation today.

This deviation will evaluate a change in the drawbridge’s operating schedule to determine whether a permanent schedule change is needed.

The temporary deviation will be in effect from Oct. 9, 2009, through March 9, 2010. During this time, the drawbridge will open to vessels requesting passage at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. At all other times, the bridge will operate as scheduled. A Notice of Proposed Rule Making for a 3-year deviation plan lasting until Oct. 5, 2012 is also being considered.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will have signs in place before Oct. 24, 2009 alerting maritime traffic of these new regulations. Beginning Monday, Oct. 19, motorists should prepare for scheduled stops at the I-264/I-464 Berkley Bridge at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. The duration of the traffic stops will be dependent on the volume of maritime traffic.

Interested parties are requested to express their views, in writing, on the temporary deviation from the operating regulations. Comments will be received for the record at:

Commander dpb
Fifth Coast Guard District
431 Crawford St.
Portsmouth, Va., 23704

Written comments on this proposal must be submitted on or before Dec. 8, 2009.

A copy of the Docket USCG-2009-0754 published in the Federal Register on Oct, 9, is available to be viewed by the public on their website.

For further questions on this proposed rule or copies of Public Notice 5-1158 which describes the deviation schedule in detail, call Waverly Gregory, bridge administrator for the Fifth Coast Guard District, at 757 398-6222 or e-mail at Waverly.W.Gregory@uscg.mil.

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