East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Bridge Construction Delays in the Atlantic ICW Update:
         Fantasy Harbour Bridge, Myrtle Beach SC, Mile 367: The following (in plain text) is new text from the USCG 7th District LNM 51 regarding this construction. As we stated in our last alert, the SCDOT official in charge reported that there would be no closure of the waterway until after Christmas. The bridge in question is actually in Myrtle Beach rather than North Myrtle Beach, SC. Check for local information if this is relevant to your travels, as there is has been some confusion as to the ICW closure dates:* South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has advised Coast Guard Sector Charleston that their contractor will be constructing a bridge over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The construction will require a barge and tender to obstruct the navigational channel. The staging area will be set on 19 December 2008, the waterway will not be affected and all barges will be lighted with 360 degrees white lights.
         The following dates the waterway will be restricted due to the construction for periods up to twenty-four (24) hours are as follows: 06 January 2009, 13 January 2009, 16 January 2009, and 29 January 2009.
         All mariners transiting in the area should proceed with caution. If there are any concerns mariners should contact Coast Guard Sector Charleston’s twenty-four (24) hour Watch Center on VHF-FM Channel 16 or (843) 724-7616 (comm.). For specific questions about the contractors’ schedule please contact Mr. Travis Patrick of the SCDOT at (843) 431-1135 or for questions regarding Coast Guard matters please contact Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Hunter Crider at (843) 724-7647.

*Italicized text above and below indicates our comment or paraphrase.  Plain text is copied from the Notices to Mariners or other sources given.

         Second Oak Island Bridge, Southport, NC, Mile 316.6:Mariners are advised to take caution and proceed slowly when approaching the construction site of a new highway bridge (Middleton Ave.) to Oak Island, over the AIWW, Mile 316.6 in Brunswick County, NC. Barges and a crane will be in the channel from 20 October until 31 December, 2008 causing mariners to be delayed up to 4 hours. This delay will be during daylight hours, two hours before and after high tide. There should be no delay at other times.

No Messing with NOAA Data Buoys!
         The 7th District LNM 51 reminds us that no person, shall take possession of or make use of for any purpose, or build upon, alter, deface, destroy, move, injure, obstruct by fastening vessels thereto or otherwise, or in any manner whatever impair the usefulness of any aid to navigation established and maintained by the United States.
          Recently several offshore NOAA data buoys parted their moorings and became adrift due to excessive strain on the mooring. These navigational data buoys collect valuable on scene weather data for all mariners. These buoys are anchored to the seabed, and some have a watch circle radius of over 1 nautical mile. Once the mooring is parted and the buoy is adrift only certain Coast Guard resources can reset the aid back on its intended station. Coordinating of resources to retrieve the buoy, and place it back on station is time consuming and sometimes take weeks, thus valuable weather information cannot be obtained and relayed to mariners in need of it. Mariners are advised not to interfere with these aids to navigation and report any sightings of vessels tied off to them to the U.S. Coast Guard. Interference with or intentional damage to Aids to Navigation is a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine not exceeding the sum of $500 for each  offense (33 CFR 70.0l).

Proposed Dredging—Cape Cod Canal:
         From the USCG 1st District LNM 51: The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, the New England District, proposes to dredge various locations in the main shipping channel in Cape Cod Canal. The proposed work involves maintenance dredging to remove approximately 50,000 - 60,000 cubic yards (cy) of clean sand and gravel from various locations in the authorized, 32-feet deep by 500-feet wide, main-ship channel and the 25-feet deep EMB portions of the project. Shoaling in the main-ship channel causes tidal delays and hazardous conditions for deep-draft commercial vessels transiting the Canal. Shoaling in the EMB limits the available space to moor these vessels in emergencies (e.g. icing). Further shoaling in the Canal proper may result in some of the deep draft vessels having to completely avoid using the Canal and transit around Cape Cod thereby significantly increasing the risk profile of these vessels, especially during the winter months. The proposed work will be performed by either a hydraulic hopper dredge or a mechanical dredge and attendant scows. The decision whether to perform the work will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal, will be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors, which may be relevant to the proposal, will be considered; among these are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, historic values, fish and wildlife values, flood damage prevention, land use classification, and the welfare of the people.
         Any person who has an interest, which may be affected by the dredging and disposal of this dredged material, may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer within the comment period of this notice and must clearly set forth the interest, which may be affected and the manner in which the interest may be affected by this activity. Please bring this notice to the attention of anyone you know to be interested in this project. Comments are invited from all interested parties and should be directed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01 742-275 1, ATTN: Bill Kavanaugh, by 26 December 2008.

Narragansett Bay Buoy Changes:
         The Coast Guard will be making the following changes to this waterway to better mark the recommended route when weather and operations permit:
CHANGE East Pass Channel Buoy 13 to East Pass Channel Junction LB 13 Fl G (2+1)6s GRG and RELOCATE to 41-30-40.560N 071-20-49.800W.
         RELOCATE Dyer Island East Shoal Buoy 9 from 41N 071W to 41-35-24.120N 071-17-59.280W.
         CHANGE Quonset Channel Buoy 8 to Quonset Channel Lighted Buoy 8 Fl R 2.5s using a Light Emitting Diode (LED) lantern with a 3 NM range and Quonset Channel Buoy 12 to Quonset Channel Lighted Buoy 12 Fl R 4s using a Light Emitting Diode (LED) lantern with a 3 NM range.

Montauk, NY Dredging and Light:
         From the 1st District LNM 51: Dredging will be done at the inlet to Lake Montauk until 10 January, 2009. The hours of operation are 7 days a week. On scene is the dredge GAIL RENAE and BETTY LOU that are monitoring VHF-FM channels 16 & 13. And Montauk Lighthouse will be decorated with holiday lights from November 29 through January 6, 2009. There will be vertical strings of white lights from the dome top down the west side (landward side) and a wreath of lights on the west (landward side). There will be no lights on the east (seaward side) of the tower and no lights will interfere with the functioning of the VEGA optic. The lights will be displayed during evening hours only.

Tide Turbines to Restrict East River NY Channel:
         From the First District USCG LNM 51: On November 25, 2008, Verdant Power, LLC (Verdant) filed a Draft License Application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to commercially develop a 1 MW hydrokinetic pilot project in the East River in New York, NY. This proposal is based on Verdant’s past demonstration project at this site - including significant operational experience, agency and stakeholder consultation, and environmental data collection and analysis - and is comprised of axial-flow turbines installed underwater to generate clean renewable energy from tidal currents. Some resource agencies and others with specific known interests in this project are receiving a copy of this draft application along with this notice. An electronic copy of the draft application documents can be obtained at the following websites:  http://www.theriteproject.com and http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp (under docket P-12611). These documents are also available for review by request at the corporate address of Verdant Power, LLC, The Octagon, 888 Main Street, New York, NY 10044, or by email request at info@verdantpower.com. Verdant invites resource agencies, Indian tribes, and all members of the public to review these materials. Under FERC’s new hydrokinetic pilot project licensing process, written comments regarding this application are due January 9, 2009 and should be sent to the Office of the Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St, NE, Washington, D.C. 20426. Comments should be labeled as such and include the FERC Project No. 12611.
The application encompasses two field areas. The eastern shore of the proposed Roosevelt Island project area is bound by the following points: 40-45-56.0N 073-56-42.3W; 40-45-54.6N 073-56-39.8W; 40-45-57.3N 073-56-37.5W; 40-46-04.5N 073-56-31.8W; 40-46-07.2N 073-56-27.8W; and 40-46-09.1N 073-56-29.7W. The area would extend 239 feet from the Roosevelt Island eastern shoreline. This would provide a 21 foot deep channel approximately 140 feet wide to maintain tug and barge traffic. The currently charted turbine field north of the Roosevelt Island Bridge will be removed as part of this project. The proposed United Nations Security Zone project area is bound by the following points: 40-45-27.8N 073-57-33.2W; 40-45-26.1N 073-57-29.0W; 40-45-04.8N 073-57-46.4W; 40-44-53.4N 073-57-55.5W; 40-44-40.8N 073-58-05.5W; 40-44-42.6N 073-58-12.4W. The area would extend approximately 375-550 feet from the Manhattan shoreline. In your comments, include the distance from shore in each area that underwater turbines could be installed and still provide for safe navigation of the area. In addition to submitting your comments to FERC, please email a copy of your comments to Jeff.M.Yunker@uscg.mil or fax to (718) 354-4190.

New York/New Jersey Waterway Analysis:
         If your boating takes place in this congested area, you may want to comment to the Coast Guard regarding the following: The Coast Guard is conducting a Waterway Analysis and Management System (WAMS) review of New York Upper Bay to include the Bay Ridge Channel, Buttermilk Channel, New Jersey Pierhead Channel, Bayonne Terminal Channel, Claremont Terminal Channel, and National Dock Channel. Mariners and other concerned parties are invited to comment on the aids to navigation in these waterways. Any comments or recommended changes to aids to navigation in these waterways should be received no later than 15 February 2009 to be considered. Send comments to: Commanding Officer, USCGC JUNIPER (WLB-201) NAVSTA Pier 2 Newport, RI 02841, ATTN: ENS Beau Belanger (401)841-6953, email Beau.C.Belanger@uscg.mil.

Baltimore Bridge to Close:
         It’s a little too cold for pleasure boating there now, but you may want to know that the Coast Guard LNM 51 reports that mariners are advised that the Pennington Avenue Bridge, at mile 0.9, across Curtis (Creek) Bay in Baltimore, MD, will be closed to vessels beginning at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, January 21, 2009, until and including 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, January 27, 2009, to facilitate submarine cable installation and electrical repairs. Mariners should adjust their transits accordingly.

Thimble Shoals Silence Proposed:
         From the 5th District LNM 51: The U.S. Coast Guard proposes discontinuing the sound signal on Thimble Shoal Light. Comments to this proposal should be submitted prior to 31 December, 2008 to Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District (dpw), 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth Virginia (23704), Attn: Mr. Al Grimes.

ICW RR Bridge to Close for New Year’s Eve and Day:
Mariners are advised that the Norfolk Southern #7 Railroad Bridge, at AIWW mile 5.8, across the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake, VA will be closed to vessels beginning at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, December 31, 2008, until and including 5 a.m. on Friday, January 2, 2009, to facilitate structural repairs.  To avoid delays, mariners are advised to plan their trips accordingly. From the USCG 5th DistrictBridge Branch.

Beaufort NC Channel Remarked:
USCG 5th District LNM 51 reports that Lighted buoy 16 in the Beaufort NC Inlet Channel off Shackleford Point has been repositioned since shoaling of the channel was reported in LNM 50.

Dawho River, SC Markers Restored:
            In our last alert we reported that we observed that red daybeacon “112” in the recently dredged area of the DawhoRiver in the SC ICW was missing. The latest 7th District LNM (51) reports that it has been restored and is in a different position following the dredging.

Florida Bridge Update: From the USCG 7th District LNM 51:           
            Port Orange A1A Bridge (Mile 835.5): Vertical clearance will be reduced by 3 feet across one half of the channel due to painting. Dates: December 3, 2008-March 30, 2009.
            Sunny Isles Bridge (Mile 1078):  Also known as the NE 163rd St. Bridge, will be on single leaf operation at quarter past and three quarters past the hour, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., except federal holidays. Dates are Oct. 15, 2008 through March 27, 2009. Double leaf openings will be available with two hours notice. On Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays, 10:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m., both leaves will open at quarter past and three quarters past the hour. Both leaves are available on request at all other times.
         Florida Keys, Seven Mile Bridge: (Between Hog Key and Bahia Honda Key): Due to repairs, there is a 30-foot platform which hangs down 8 feet below the bridge. It is marked with flags and lights. The platform will be moved to different areas of the bridge during repairs until December 30, 2008.   
         Okeechobee Waterway, Mile 126.3:The Wilson Piggott Bridge will be under single leaf operation from August 18-Feb 28, 2008. A double leaf opening will require a 3 hour notice. The vertical clearance of the down span will be reduced by 5 feet. There will be one 8-hour closure to be announced.
         Hillsborough River, Tampa: All mariners be advised that a barge will be partially obstructing the channel under the I-275 bridge on the Hillsborough River starting on December 8, 2008, until January 18, 2009, for painting operations. Any vessels requiring the full width of the channel may contact the PCL tug on VHF-FM Channel 13. All mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area.
         Johns Pass Bridge, Clearwater Area: A new bridge is under construction here and the channel will be closed to navigation from 1:00 a.m. till 11:00 a.m. daily, Monday through Friday, until August 2010.  The channel will be closed to navigation for approximately 30 minutes at 1:00 am and at 10:00 a.m. each day to raise and lower the bridge leaves. There is a safety zone in the area till August 30, 2010.

Dredging: Sanibel, Gulf of Mexico:
         From the 7th District LNM 51: Energy Resources, Inc, has commenced dredging operations in Blind Pass, Sanibel, Florida. The first phase of this project will be dredging of the inner portion of Wulfert Channel from the Blind Pass Bridge to the north/northeast for a distance of one-half mile. The second portion of phase one will be dredging the southern end of the Roosevelt Channel for a distance of 600 feet from the Wulfert Channel. The channel width on the inside varies from 50 feet to 100 feet wide to a depth of 11 feet MHW. The outside portion from Blind Pass bridge heading south/southwest for approximately 1100 feet into the Gulf of Mexico will be dredged in the second phase. The width of this portion of the channel varies from 100 feet to 235 feet wide, the dredge depth will be 11 feet MHW. This project will be completed on or about June 30, 2009. All mariners are request to transit at their slowest safe speed. For further information please contact Mr. Paul Reinhart at (636) 532-9558.

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