Onslow Beach Bridge at Camp Lejeune scheduled for maintenance

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – The Coast Guard has approved a temporary closure-to-navigation of the Onslow Beach Bridge at Camp Lejeune from Sept. 8 – 14.

The Marine Corps, who owns and operates this swing-type drawbridge, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulations to facilitate urgent replacement of the main hydraulic system.

Under this temporary deviation, the swing span will be maintained in the closed-to-navigation position from 1a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8 – 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14.

Vessels that can pass under the bridge without a bridge opening may do so at anytime. There are no alternate routes for vessels transiting this section of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, and the drawbridge will be unable to open in the event of an emergency.

The available vertical clearance in the closed position to vessels is approximately 12 feet above mean high water.

The bridge has been experiencing increased difficulties in operation stemming from a sandblasting the bridge received in 2008.

Since the bridge does not possess a secondary means of operation without using the hydraulic system, the proactive approach is to close the bridge to vessels and replace all the hydraulic fluid as well as any parts that come in contact with the fluid. To do this properly, this work should be all done at one time, so there is no cross contamination.

The Coast Guard has coordinated the restrictions with the local users of the waterway, the Steamship Trade Committee, the Virginia Maritime Association, marinas and will inform unexpected users through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the closure period for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

Scheduled repairs include the replacement of 20 valves, 14 cylinders, three filters, two pumps, and 150 gallons of hydraulic fluid.

The bridge is the principle route in and out of the Marine Corps Base for military residents and serves as the major evacuation route in the event of emergencies.

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