East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Dismal Swamp Canal to Stay Open through FY 2005
A press release we just received from Penny Leary-Smith, Director of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, advises that the omnibus funding bill passed by Congress on Nov. 20, 2004 includes $785,000 for the continued maintenance of the Dismal Swamp Canal by the US Army Corps of Engineers through the end of fiscal year 2005 (Sept. 30, 2005). The bill is yet to be signed by the President. Call the USACE Norfolk at 757 441 7500, Option 5, for the most current information.

Oops! One Broward County Bridge “Forgotten”
Our last East Coast Alert, dated November 21, 2004, gave the new Broward County Bridge opening test schedule, to begin Dec 1 and last for 90 days. We noticed that the Hillsboro Blvd (SR 810) Bridge in Deerfield Beach (Mile 1050) was not on the list in the Public Notice (29-04) nor in the Local Notices to Mariners. This is the first (northernmost) bridge encountered in Broward County after passing through all the newly rescheduled Palm Beach County bridges.
On Nov 30, I spoke with Barry Dragon, Branch Chief, USCG Miami, District 7 Bridge Branch, regarding the omission of this bridge from the test schedule. He said that it was inadvertently left off the list, and therefore would have to remain on its regular schedule during the test. If there is a change, it will be announced in the Local Notices to Mariners and announced in the daily Broadcast Local Notices to Mariners. So for now, the schedule for the Hillsboro Blvd Bridge remains: Oct 1-May 31, Mon-Thurs, except federal holidays, 7 AM-6 PM, opens on the hour and every 20 minutes thereafter. Fri-Sun and holidays: 7 AM-6 PM, opens on the hour and at 30 minutes past.

Okeechobee Waterway--Reduced Vertical Clearance
The Coast Guard has announced that the Thomas B. Manual Bridge, aka “Turnpike Bridge”, where the Florida Turnpike crosses the St Lucie Canal at Mile 14.5, will have its vertical clearance reduced to 45 ft rather than the usual 55 ft until January 23, 2005 due to scaffolding placed for bridge repairs.

Copyright 2004-2005 Tom Neale