East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale


Ernest Lyons Bridge (aka Indian River Bridge), Mile 984.9 Height Reduced:
This is the bridge just north of the St Lucie River/Crossroads: The vertical clearance of the new Ernest Lyons Bridge, Intracoastal Waterway Mile 984.9, Stuart, Martin County, Florida will be reduced to 50 feet from April 24 to May 12, 2006, due to the construction of the new bridge.

Remember that the St. Lucie Inlet to the south of this bridge has been reported to be shoaled and should be avoided without expert local knowledge. Lake Worth Inlet to the south and Ft. Pierce Inlet to the north can be used to bypass this bridge when weather is permitting.

Shoal at Vero:
This is at the north entrance to the Vero Beach Mooring field, formerly the ICW channel. The 7th District Coast Guard LNM 16 didn’t specify which side of the channel. We passed through here without finding it. If you find it, let us know which side of the channel to avoid.

Shoaling has been reported between Indian River (South Section) Daybeacon 128 (LLNR 44135) and Daybeacon 130 (LLNR 44145). Shoaling is encroaching about 35 feet into the channel (channel in the area is approximately 70 feet in width) with depth ranging from 2.7 feet near the edge of the channel, 4.4 feet in the middle of the shoal (approximately 20 feet into the channel), to 6 feet at the edge of the shoal (approximately 35 feet into the channel). All mariners are urged to use extreme caution while transiting the area.

GPS Interference Testing Again off Cape Canaveral:
If you’re traveling north offshore as many do this time of year:
The GPS Navigation Signal may be unreliable due to interference testing on the frequencies of M1575 and M1227 used in shipboard navigation and handheld systems. GPS systems that rely on GPS, such as E-911, AIS and DSC, may be effective within a 50 NM radius of position 29-36N 079-30W at sea level.

Interference testing will be conducted on the following dates:
April 20 2006 - 1800Z - 2100Z
April 21 2006 - 1800Z - 2100Z
April 23 2006 - 2300Z - April 24 0200Z
April 29 2006 - 1700Z - 2000Z

More information is available at the Coast Guard Navigation Center web-site www.navcen.uscg.gov. GPS users are encouraged to report any GPS service outages that they may be experiencing during this testing via the Navigation Information Service (NIS) by calling (703) 313-5900 or by using the navcen’s web-site’s GPS report a problem worksheet.

Miami: Venetian Causeway Bridges Schedule Test:
The Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District, has approved a temporary deviation from the regulations governing the operation of the Venetian Causeway (West) drawbridge, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Mile 1088.6, and Venetian Causeway (East) drawbridge, Biscayne Bay, Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida. There temporary deviations allow the Coast Guard to test an operating schedule with the drawbridges opening as necessary on a 30-minute schedule from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. This deviation will allow the Coast Guard to gather data to determine if these schedules meet the reasonable needs of navigation while accommodating vehicle traffic and whether they should be proposed as permanent changes. These deviations are effective from 7 a.m. on April 17, 2006 until June 14, 2006. Material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket [CGD07-06-050] will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection or copying at Commander (dpb), Seventh Coast Guard District, 909 S.E. 1st Avenue, Room 432, Miami, Florida 33131-3050 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For Further Information Contact: Mr. Michael Lieberum, Project Officer, Seventh Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch at (305) 415-6744.

Boot Key Bridge New Schedule Final:
The Coast Guard is changing the regulations governing the operation of the Boot Key Harbor Bridge, Mile 0.13, between Marathon and Boot Key, Monroe County, Florida. Due to the amount of vehicle traffic and the lack of openings during the proposed time period, this action till improve the movement of vehicular traffic while not unreasonably interfering with the movement of vessel traffic. This rule will allow the bridge to open as necessary on the hour between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At all other times, the bridge will open on demand following a one-hour notification to the bridge tender. The draw shall open as soon as practicable for the passage of tugs with tows, public vessels of the United States and vessels in a situation where a delay would endanger life or property. This rule is effective April 24, 2006. For further information contact, Mr. Gwin Tate, Project Manager, Seventh Coast Guard District, Bridge

Jordan Bridge, Norfolk VA to stay OPEN:
To complete repairs to the counterweight system, mariners are advised that the Jordan (vertical lift) Bridge, at AICW mile 2.8, across the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River, in Chesapeake, VA, will be maintained in the limited open-to-navigation position at 90 feet, above mean high water, each day, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Saturdays and Sundays, May 13 and 14, 2006, and on May 20 and 21, 2006. Mariners requiring openings in excess of 90 feet are requested to provide at least two hours advance notice by calling the Jordan Bridge Office at (757) 545-4695. At all other times, the drawbridge will operate in accordance with the operating regulations set out in Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.997(b).

Yearly Norfolk Harborfest Congestion:
If you, as a transient boater, have ever tried to negotiate the final mile of the ICW through Norfolk, VA during this yearly event, you’ll never do it again--unless you want to just stop and enjoy the show. This year's Harborfest will be held June 9 through June 11, 2006. To help control spectator watercraft, temporary aids to navigation will be established: Six yellow temporary unlighted buoys will be set to mark the navigational limits of the special anchorage area. If you do stop for the show, be aware that marinas will be full, anchorages will be congested with raft-ups, and no dinghy landing is permitted at the marinas. There may be limited water taxi service this year. The main channel is sometimes closed for certain events. Better to plan your transit before or after Harborfest.

Chesapeake Bay CLOSED for Walkers and Viewers of Sailboat Race:
The Bay Bridge Walk will occur on Sunday, May 7, 2006, at 9 a.m. A temporary security zone will be established upon certain waters of the Chesapeake Bay, between Sandy Point and Kent Island, Maryland, from 250 yards north of the north span of the William P. Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge (Chesapeake Bay Bridge) to 250 yards south of the south span of the bridge. This security zone is effective from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, 2006, and is necessary to control vessel traffic in order to safeguard approximately 50,000 participants involved in walking across the bridge. The effect will be to restrict vessel traffic on a portion of the Chesapeake Bay during the event. A temporary gate will be available at one of the eastern bridge spans (at or near the Eastern Channel) (Eastern Channel vertical clearance is 58 ft.) for the passage of spectator craft transiting north and south under the bridge interested in viewing the restart of the Volvo Ocean Race. Vessels transiting through this area of the security zone will do so without loitering, drifting or anchoring, and will proceed at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course while within the zone. Patrol vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on VHF Marine Band Radio, VHF Channel 16, and upon being hailed by siren, radio, flashing light or other means, the operator of a vessel shall comply with the instructions of the official patrol and proceed as directed. The center span (Chesapeake Channel) of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge will not be available to boats transiting north or south. Contact Mr. Ron Houck for any comments or questions, at Commander, Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, (410) 576-2674.

New York Canal Fees Waived:
The State of New York has announced that fees will be waived for the 2006 season on all of the New York Canal System. This is good news for “Loopers” as well as “Snowbirds” and local boaters.

Portland Harbor, ME, Changes to ATNs Proposed:
The Coast Guard makes frequent changes to aids to navigation. T hey are too numerous for us to report them all here. But occasionally when a major boating area is drastically changed, we see fit to report. This looks to be a major change. They are asking for comments on the proposed changes.
The Coast Guard is considering making the following changes to Aids to Navigation to facilitate navigation in Portland Harbor:
Add Portland Main Approach Lighted Buoy 11, Green, Fl G 2.5s, 3 NM in PA 43-37-44N, 070-12-38W.
Add Portland Main Approach Buoy 13, Green can, in PA 43-38-06N, 070-12-59W.
Add Portland Main Approach Lighted Buoy 15, Green, Fl G 4s, 3 NM in PA 43-38-47N, 070-13-09W.
Add Portland Main Approach Lighted Buoy 16, Red, Fl R 4s, 3 NM in PA 43-38-41N, 070-12-54W.
Relocate Portland Main Approach Buoy 14, Red nun to PA 43-38-11.5N, 070-12-43.5W.
Delete Portland Harbor Mid-Channel Lighted Gong Buoy PH.
Interested mariners are strongly encouraged to comment on this proposal in writing, either personally or through their organization. All comments shall be carefully considered and are requested prior to 15 MAY 06 to facilitate the process. Refer to Docket No. 01-06-019. COMMANDER, FIRST COAST GUARD DISTRICT (dpw)
408 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3350, e-mail can be mail to:
john.j.mauro@uscg.mil and faxes to (617) 223-8073.

Goodbye to Old Jamestown, RI Bridge:
The implosion of the center span of this landmark on West Passage, Narragansett Bay, RI should already have occurred by the time you read this. The channel will be closed for a while though as demolition continues.

Workers for the demolition contractor, Cashman Equipment Corporation, are operating on the bridge and from barges adjacent to the various bridge piers. Lighted buoys have been placed in a line north and south of the Old Jamestown Bridge to mark the demolition work area. Additionally, several barges and workboats will be operating daily in the vicinity of the Old Jamestown Bridge, during daylight hours only. An implosion of the main span of the old Jamestown Bridge is currently scheduled on or about April 18, 2006, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Blasting will occur and the center span will drop into the navigation channel in the West Passage of Narragansett Bay. The navigation channel will be closed from approximately April 16, 2006, until debris from the center span is completely removed. It is estimated the channel will re-open to vessel traffic approximately May 31, 2006. During the demolition operations and while the channel is closed, the Coast Guard will establish a 1000-yard safety zone on both the north and south sides of the old Jamestown Bridge. Vessels will be prohibited from transiting within this safety zone without the express permission of the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Sector Southeastern New England. Questions regarding the channel closure or the Coast Guard safety zone may be addressed to Mr. Edward G. LeBlanc at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England, 401-435-2351. The contractor’s workboats monitor VHF channels 13 and 16. Mr. John McNulty, the lead project engineer, can be reached by cellular telephone at 617-593-4453. Additional demolition work (outside the main channel) will be ongoing through December 2006.

Dredging in New York Harbor:
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock will commence dredging on or about April 7, 2006 south of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. The Hopper Dredges Liberty Island and Padre Island, and Survey Vessel St. Johns River will be on scene. Dredging will continue in this area until approximately November 30, 2007 on a 24-hour/7-days per week basis. The area will not be closed to navigation and dredges will MOVE ON DEMAND. Dredges are monitoring Channels 13 and 16.
Dredging will be done in the Ambrose Entrance Channel from 7 April - 30 November 2006. The hours of operation will be 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. On scene will be the dredges LIBERTY ISLAND & PADRE ISLAND and the survey vessel ST. JOHNS RIVER that will be monitoring VHF-FM Channels 13 & 16.

Comments Requested on Changing Aids to Navigation in New York:
The Coast Guard will be conducting an analysis of East River, White Hall Ferry, Governors Island, Westchester Creek, and Flushing Bay, with the intent of optimizing the waterway and the aids to navigation therein. Mariners and other concerned parties are encouraged to comment. Coast Guard Sector New York, Waterways Management Branch, will be accepting comments until 12 June 2006, Contact BM1 Tom Casey 1-718-345-4166, fax 718-345-4190, or

New Jersey Coast Survey:
Those of you heading offshore of NJ should be aware that the ATLANTIC SURVEYOR will be conducting hydrographic surveying operations in the waters off the coast of New Jersey. The survey area lies between Manasquan and Barnegat Inlets to approximately 10 nautical miles offshore. On or about May 30, 2006 the survey operations will be moved south to an area adjacent to the offshore boundary of the Cape Henlopen-Delaware Traffic Separation Zone. Operations will continue within an area from 10-20 miles offshore and from 7 miles south of to 15 miles north of NOAA Buoy 4409 as depicted on charts 12211 and 12214 and will continue until November 1, 2006. The ATLANTIC SURVEYOR is a 110 foot grey hull steel vessel. Surveys will be conducted using a towed side scan sonar and all vessels are requested to give a wide berth in order to avoid fouling the towed survey equipment. The vessel will be conducting 24-hour operations and will display "restricted in ability to maneuver" day shapes and lights as appropriate. ATLANTIC SURVEYOR will maintain a radio guard on channels VHF-FM 13, 16 and 10.

Ocean City, MD Inlet Dredging:
The hopper dredge CURRITUCK will be conducting dredging operations at Ocean City Inlet and on the ebb shoal outside the inlet from April 1 through May 30, 2006. The dredge will be removing sand from these shoals and transporting it south to Assateague Island or north to Ocean City for placement into the surf zone. The dredge can be contacted on VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16. Mariners are requested to stay clear of the dredge and exercise extreme caution and no wake when approaching, passing and leaving a dredge operation location and to strictly comply with the Inland Rules of the Road.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Potomac River, VA/MD, Closed Two Summer Weekends:
Plan your summer vacations accordingly if your mast height requires an opening: Mariners are advised that the Coast Guard has approved a temporary deviation from the regulations governing the operation of the existing Woodrow Wilson Memorial (I-95) Bridge, at mile 103.5, across the Potomac River, between Alexandria, VA, and Oxon Hill, MD. To facilitate the Outer and Inner Loop shifts of vehicular traffic for the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project, the deviation allows the existing drawbridge to remain closed-to-navigation from 8 p.m. on Friday, June 9, 2006, until 5 a.m. on Monday, June 12, 2006; and from 8 p.m. on Friday, July 14, 2006, until 5 a.m. on Monday, July 17, 2006. At all other times, the drawbridge will operate in accordance with the operating drawbridge regulations set out in Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.255(a). Mariners should adjust their transit accordingly.

Virginia Inside Passage Shoaling:
Extensive shoaling has been reported in the vicinity of Virginia Inside Passage Daybeacon 1, Virginia Inside Passage Buoy 55--4 feet MLW, Buoy 55A--3 feet MLW and Buoy 57--2 feet MLW. Mariners are cautioned not to transit this area during low water and to use extreme caution when transiting this channel during other tidal states.
The Buoy 57 limits this passage to very shallow draft vessels.

Survey Vessels in Chesapeake Bay Approach:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hydrographic survey ship THOMAS JEFFERSON and two associated survey launches will be conducting survey operations in and around the southern approach traffic lanes to Chesapeake Bay; in the vicinity of Little Creek Anchorages "C" and "D;" and in the vicinity of the Chesapeake Channel seaward of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, through June 26, 2006. THOMAS JEFFERSON is a white hulled 208' steel vessel. Survey launches are gray hull aluminum vessels, 31' LOA, equipped with AIS. Survey operations may require the launches to make frequent course changes and/or multiple crossings of the main ship channels. THOMAS JEFFERSON and any deployed survey launches will make monitor at all times and make regular security calls on VHF Channels 16 and 13. All vessels are requested to give NOAA Ship THOMAS JEFFERSON and its survey launches a wide berth in order to avoid interfering with survey operations.

Dismal Swamp Pedestrian Bridge Regulation:
The Coast Guard proposes to establish new regulations that govern the operation of the new Dismal Swamp Canal Bridge, at AICW mile 28.0, in South Mills, NC. The proposal will allow the Dismal Swamp Canal Bridge to remain open to navigation, closing only for pedestrian crossings and periodic maintenance. Comments on this proposal should be forwarded to COMMANDER, FIFTH COAST GUARD DISTRICT, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704, (Attention: obr) no later than June 6, 2006. Copies of PUBLIC NOTICE 5-1065 which describes the proposal in detail can be obtained by writing to the above address or by calling (757) 398- 6422.

New Bridge in New Bern, NC:
The U.S. Coast Guard has received an application for a bridge permit from the North Carolina Department of Transportation for approval of the location and plans for replacement of the US 70/Alfred Cunningham Bridge, at mile 0.0, across Trent River in New Bern, NC. The proposal will replace the existing swing-type bridge with a new two-lane lift bridge, at the same location. The proposed vertical clearances of the new lift bridge, in the closed position to vessels from mean high and mean low waters, are 13 feet and 14 feet, respectively; and unlimited vertical clearance in the full open-to navigation position. The proposed horizontal clearance is 90 feet, between fender systems. Comments on this proposal should be forwarded to COMMANDER, FIFTH COAST GUARD DISTRICT, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704 (Attention: obr) no later than May 1, 2006. Copies of Public Notice 5-1063, which describe the proposal in detail, can be obtained by writing to the above address or by calling (757) 398-6629.

Hollywood Bridge Construction Restrictions:
The Hollywood Boulevard Bridge, Intracoastal Waterway mile 1072.2, Hollywood, Broward County, Florida will be on single-leaf operations on the hour and half-hour from April 17 to July 27, 2006, due to construction. A double-leaf opening will be available with a two-hour notice to the bridge tender. The horizontal clearance will be reduced to 50 feet during this time period. From October 26 through November 26, 2006, the bridge will open a single-leaf only on the hour and half-hour.

Drilling in Miami Ship Channel:
PSI Engineering has commenced boring drilling on the west end of the Port of Miami Main Ship Channel. The drilling barge will be in the channel from 7:00 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday. This operation will continue for approximately ten (10) weeks, with completion date on or about May 31, 2006. Mariners are requested to keep clear of the drilling barge and use caution while transiting the area.

Hurricane Warning on Charts:
As a reminder of the season, I noticed in the 7th District Local Notices to Mariners #15 that all of charts that were listed for corrections, and there were pages of them, had this addition:
“HURRICANES AND TROPICAL STORMS NOTE; Hurricanes, tropical storms and other major storms may cause considerable damage to marine structures, aids to navigation and moored vessels, resulting in submerged debris in unknown locations. Charted soundings, channel depths and shoreline may not reflect actual conditions following these storms. Fixed aids to navigation may have been damaged or destroyed. Buoys may have been moved from charted positions, damaged, sunk extinguished or otherwise made inoperative. Mariners should not rely upon the position or operation of an aid to navigation. Wrecks and submerged obstructions may have been displaced from charted locations. Pipelines may have become uncovered or moved. Mariners are urged to exercise extreme caution and are requested to report aids to navigation discrepancies and hazards to navigation to the nearest United States Coast Guard unit. (NOS NW-11766)”

This information is not to be used for navigation. Consult the latest charts and Local Notices to Mariners and use prudent seamanship. Any person or entity that uses this information in any way, as a condition of that use, agrees to waive and does waive any and all claims which may arise from that use.

Copyright 2004-2005 Tom Neale