[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 237 (Monday, December 12, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-30480]


[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: December 12, 1994]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------


DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
33 CFR Part 117

[CGD01-94-094]
RIN 2115-AE47

 

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Merrimack River, MA

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is considering a change to the regulations 
governing the Newburyport US1 Bridge over the Merrimack River, mile 
3.4, in Newburyport, Massachusetts, by requiring a one hour advance 
notice for openings during the winter months. This is being proposed 
because the waterway is often frozen during the winter and there have 
been few requests for bridge openings. This will relieve the bridge 
owner of the burden of posting personnel at the bridge during the 
winter months.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 10, 1995.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be mailed to Commander (obr), First Coast 
Guard District, Captain John Foster Williams Federal Building, 408 
Atlantic Ave., Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3350. Comments may also be 
hand-delivered to this address. The comments and other materials 
referenced in this notice will be available for inspection and copying 
by appointment at the Captain John Foster Williams Federal Building, 
Room 628, 408 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts. Normal office 
hours are between 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
William C. Heming, Bridge Administrator, First Coast Guard District, 
(212) 668-7170.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Comments

    Interested persons are invited to participate in this rulemaking by 
submitting written views, comments, data, or arguments. Persons 
submitting comments should include their names and addresses, identify 
this rulemaking (CGD01-94-094), the specific section of this proposal 
to which each comment applies, and gives reasons for each comment. The 
Coast Guard requests that all comments and attachments be submitted in 
an unbound format suitable for copying and electronic filing. If not 
practical, a second copy of any bounded material is requested. Persons 
desiring acknowledgment that their comments have been received should 
enclose a stamped self-addressed post card or envelope.
    The Coast Guard will consider all comments received during the 
comment period and it may change this proposal in light of comments 
received. The Coast Guard plans no public hearing. Persons may request 
a public hearing by writing to Commander (obr), First Coast Guard 
District at the address listed under ADDRESSES. The request should 
include reasons why a hearing would be beneficial. If the Coast Guard 
determines that the opportunity for oral presentations will aid this 
rulemaking, the Coast Guard will hold a public hearing at a time and 
place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

Drafting Information

    The drafters of this notice are Mr. John McDonald, First Coast 
Guard District Bridge Branch, Project Manager and Lieutenant Commander 
S.R. Watkins, First Coast Guard District Legal Office, Project Counsel.

Background and Purpose

    The Newburyport US1 Bridge over the Merrimack River in Newburyport, 
Massachusetts has a vertical clearance of 35' above mean high water 
(MHW) and 42' above mean low water (MLW). The Merrimack River is frozen 
during most of the winter and there have been few requests for bridge 
openings during this period. The existing regulations require the 
bridge to open on signal from May 1 to October 31, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
The proposed regulations will extend the period during which the bridge 
will open on signal: from May 1 to November 15, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
The proposed regulation also will require at least a one hour advance 
notice for openings at all other times.

Discussion of Proposed Amendments

    The Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD) has requested a change 
to the existing operating regulations in 33 CFR Sec. 117.605 which 
allow the Newburyport US1 Bridge to open on signal from May 1 through 
October 31 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from November 1 to April 30 from 
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. At all other times the draw shall open if at least a 
one hour advance notice is given. The proposed regulations will permit 
the draw to open on signal from May 1 to November 15, from 6 a.m. to 10 
p.m. At all other times the draw will open on signal if at least one 
hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the 
bridge. This change to the regulations is being proposed due to 
frequent waterway freezing during the winter months coupled with 
infrequent requests for openings. The proposed change to the regulation 
will relieve the bridge owner of the burden of posting personnel at the 
bridge during the winter months. The drawtenders will be on call to 
open the draw when the advance notice is given to the highway 
department by calling the number that will be posted at the bridge.

Regulatory Evaluation

    This proposal is not a significant regulatory action under section 
3(f) of Executive Order 12866, and does not require an assessment of 
potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that order. It 
has been exempted from review by the Office of Management and Budget 
under that order. It is not significant under the regulatory policies 
and procedures of the Department of Transportation (DOT) (44 FR 11040; 
February 26, 1979). The Coast Guard expects the economic impact to be 
so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation, under paragraph 10e of 
the regulatory policies and procedures of DOT, is unnecessary. This 
conclusion is based on the fact that the regulation will not prevent 
mariners from transiting the US1 Bridge. It will require only that 
mariners plan their transits around the new operating hours.

Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the 
Coast Guard must consider whether this action will have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. ``Small 
entities'' include independently owned and operated small businesses 
that are not dominant in their field and that otherwise qualify as 
``small business concerns'' under section 3 of the Small Business Act 
(15 U.S.C. 632). Because of the reasons discussed in the Regulatory 
Evaluation above, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that 
this action, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities.

Collection of Information

    This rule contains no collection of information requirements under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

Federalism

    The Coast Guard has analyzed this proposal in accordance with the 
principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 12612, and it has 
been determined that this proposed regulation does not have sufficient 
federalism implications to warrant preparation of a Federalism 
Assessment.

Environment

    The Coast Guard considered the environmental impact of this 
proposal and concluded that, under section 2.B.2.e.(32)(e) of 
Commandant Instruction M16475.1B, this proposal is categorically 
excluded from further environmental documentation. A Categorical 
Exclusion Determination is available in the docket for inspection or 
copying where indicated under ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

Regulations

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Coast Guard proposes to 
amend part 117 of title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 117--DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS

    1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 499; 49 CFR 1.46; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g); section 
117.255 also issued under the authority of Pub. L. 102-587, 106 
Stat. 5039.

    2. Section 117.605, paragraph (a) is revised and paragraph (d) is 
added as follows:


Sec. 117.605  Merrimack River.

    (a) The draw of the Newburyport US1 Bridge, mile 3.4, shall open on 
signal from May 1 through November 15, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. At all 
other times the draw shall open on signal if at least one hour advance 
notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.
* * * * *
    (d) The owners of this bridge shall provide and keep in good 
legible condition, clearance gauges for each draw with figures not less 
than twelve (12) inches high designed, installed and maintained 
according to the provisions of Sec. 118.160 of this chapter.

    Dated: December 2, 1994.
R.R. Clark,
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Commander, First Coast Guard 
District.
[FR Doc. 94-30480 Filed 12-9-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-14-M