East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Ben Sawyer Bridge, Mile 462.2 Repairs:
            This bridge was severely damaged 20 years ago during Hurricane Hugo, and the swing span should have been replaced then. The USCG 7th District LNM 07 announces that the swing span of the Ben Sawyer Bridge will be replaced between March and November, 2009 and there may be slight delays in opening. These delays will be announced in SIBs from Coast Guard Charleston.
            The bridge will be closed to navigation on March 6, 2009 from 7:00 a.m. through 11:00 a.m. for temporary power transfer.*

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

Neptune Project Update:
           From the USCG 1st District LNM 06: During the summer of 2008, GDF SUEZ LNG installed a subsea natural gas pipeline extending 13 miles seaward from Spectra Energy’s HubLineSM. Following completion of the pipe-laying process on the ocean floor, concrete mats were installed over the pipeline to provide additional coverage. The Attachment (see enclosure)) displays four areas where fishermen should use caution when fishing. The areas marked in red indicate the locations of the concrete mats. Areas 3 and 4 display the proposed submerged buoy systems that will be installed in early May 2009. It is recommended that fishermen use caution and avoid these areas as well to prevent damage to their fishing gear and our equipment and materials. In April 2009, GDF SUEZ LNG will communicate precise locations of buoy installation activities to the fishermen. For additional information about the Neptune Project, go to www.neptunelngconstruction.com .

Mass. Safety Zone for “Underwater Object” Extended:
           Also from the 1st District LNM 06: SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is extending the duration of a temporary safety zone surrounding an underwater object located approximately 17 miles northeast of Scituate, Massachusetts in Massachusetts Bay. This action is necessary to ensure that vessels are not endangered by conducting dredging, diving, salvage, anchoring, fishing or other activities in this area. This temporary rulemaking is needed to protect the environment, the commercial fishing industry, and the general public from potential hazards associated with the underwater object.
DATES: This rule extends the current temporary regulation, Safety Zone; Underwater Object, Massachusetts Bay, MA which has been in effect since 11 p.m. January 8, 2009, until 11 p.m. March 14, 2009.
ADDRESSES: Documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of docket USCG-2008-1272 and will be available online at www.regulations.gov. They will also be available for inspection or copying in two locations: the Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, D.C. 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, and United States Coast Guard Sector Boston, 427 Commercial St, Boston, MA 02109 between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this temporary rule, call Chief Eldridge McFadden, Waterways Management, at 617-223-3000. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

New Bedford Harbor Dredging Project Continues:
           The 1st District LNM 06 reports that a submerged dredge pipeline is installed on the river bottom along the northwestern portion of the upper New Bedford Harbor until 30 November 2012. The pipeline originates at position 70o55-17.03- 41o38-45.01- and extends through positions 70o55-13.9- 41o38-45.66-, 70o55-11.03-41o38-55.0-, 70o55-10.06- 41o39-00.03-, and 70o55-08.03- 41o39-06.29- to the western abutment of the I-195 Bridge. Mariners are urged to use extreme caution in this area. The location of the submerged pipeline is indicated with lighted obstruction buoys marked -Danger Submerged Pipeline-. The submerged pipeline is an 18- diameter HDPE pipe anchored to the river bottom at regular intervals.
Fire Island Inlet, Long Island NY, Dredging:
           Dredging is being done from Fire Island Inlet to Davis Park until 5 April 2009. The hours of operation are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. On scene are the dredges R. N. WEEKS and B. E. LINDHOLM that are monitoring VHF-FM channel 13 & 16. Mariners are urged to use extreme caution and transit the area at their slowest safe speed. (1st District LNM 06)

Submerged Object, Harlem River, NY:
           The Coast Guard has received a report of an unknown submerged object in the Harlem River in vicinity of position 40-50.3N 073-55.9W – all vessels are requested to proceed with caution and report sightings to the US Coast Guard. Additional information regarding debris in NY Harbor can be directed to the US Army Corps of Engineers at 201-333-1170. (1st District LNM 06)

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, DC, Regulations Change Proposed:
           The 5th District LNM 07 advises mariners that that the Coast Guard proposes to change the regulations governing the operation of the new Woodrow Wilson (I-95) Bridge, at mile 103.8, across the Potomac River between Alexandria, VA, and Oxon Hill, MD. This proposal aims to balance the number of required bridge openings based on the projected use by vehicular and marine traffic needs. The proposal would permanently maintain the drawbridge in the closed-to-position each day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Comments on this proposal should be forwarded to the above address attention (Commander, 5th Coast Guard District, (dpb), 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704 ) no later than March 26, 2009. A copy of Public Notice 5-1136, which describes the proposal in detail, can be obtained by writing to the address above or by calling (757) 398-6222.

Dredging: Delaware Bay Entrance:
           The 5th District LNM 07 also announces that the Dredge PADRE ISLAND will be conducting dredging operations in the entr2ance to Delaware Bay and transferring dredged material to a pump out location via pipeline at Cape May Point/Lower Cape May Meadows from 06 February until 15 March, 2009. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16.

Dredging Baltimore Harbor:
           From the 5th District LNM 07: Mariners are advised that McLean Contracting Corp. will conduct mechanical dredging with pile driving and demolition operations near the Maryland Port Administration's Fairfield Marine Terminal Pier 4, located in the Masonville area at Baltimore, Maryland, from January 15, 2008 through December 1, 2009. These operations will include the installation of a 50 ft x 40 ft cofferdam, water main, demolition and diving operations at approximate position 39-15-12.97 N, 076-34-56.29 W, occur Mondays through Fridays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and use mooring buoys, sheet pile and H-pile structures, barges and floating cranes. All vessels and structures will be lighted and marked in accordance with the Navigation Rules. Diving operations are conducted daily and a NO WAKE transit is requested. Interested traffic may contact the work boats Sweat Pea and WB29 on marine band radio channels 16 or 13 VHF-FM, if necessary. For any comments or questions, contact Mr. Jeff Phillips (Contract Manager) at telephone number (410) 553-6700.

Chesapeake Bay Dredging, Eastern Shore:
           The 5th District LNM 07 reports that the Dredge Jenni Lea II will be conducting dredging operations in the vicinity of the Honga River and Tar Bay from 23 February until 22 March, 2009. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16. A lighted floating and submerged polyethylene pipeline will run from Honga River Channel across Tar Bay to the Barren Island Disposal Site. The assisting tenders Betty Lou and Amity will be on scene.

Dredging: Poplar Island, Chesapeake Bay:
           The Dredge SWINGING DRAGON will be conducting dredging operations in the vicinity of Poplar Island Access Channel from 17 February until 01 May, 2009. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16. (5th District LNM 07)

VIP Shoaling Continues:
           The 5th District LNM 07 reports that shoaling to a depth of 2 feet MLW has been reported between Virginia Inside Passage Light 180  and Great Machipongo Inlet North Channel Junction Light NC. Mariners should also use extreme caution when transiting the area.

ICW to Close for Bridge Work, Mile 5.8, (Norfolk Area):
       From the USCG 5th District Bridge Branch: 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 to complete structural repairs beginning at 5 a.m. until and including 11 p.m. each Sunday on March 1, March 8, April 5, April 12, May 3 and May 10, 2009.  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 117.997(e).  Mariners should adjust their transits accordingly.

Dredging: Ocracoke, NC:
           The Dredge MARION will be conducting dredging operations in the vicinity of Big Foot Slough and Ocracoke Ferry Channel from 02 February until 02 April, 2009. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16. (5th District LNM 07)

Shoaling: Ocracoke Inlet, NC
           From the 5th District LNM 07: Shoaling to a depth of 3 feet MLW has been reported in the vicinity of Ocracoke Inlet Buoy 3 (LLNR 28910) and Ocracoke Inlet Buoy 4 (LLNR 28915).The channel has been reported as shifting to the east. Mariners should use extreme caution when transiting the area.

ICW Dredging, Rich Inlet Area, NC:
           5th District LNM 07: The Dredge RICHMOND will be conducting dredging operations in the vicinity of Rich Inlet in Nixon Channel at the north end of Figure 8 Island from 05 February until 31 March, 2009. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16.

Figure Eight Island Bridge Opening Schedule Change Proposed:
           This proposal is now part of the Federal Record, and a period for Public Comment will be scheduled soon. From the 5th District LNM 07: AIWW – Figure Eight Swing Bridge - NPRM proposes to change to the existing regulations to allow the bridge to open on signal every hour on the half-hour for recreational vessels. NPRM sent to Federal Register on 5 FEB 09.
            Translation: NPRM is a Notice of Proposed Rule Making. Some entity wants to cut the number of bridge openings in half (once an hour instead of twice an hour on the hour and half hour, its current opening schedule).The distance between the Wrightsville Beach Bridge (opens once an hour on the hour) and the Figure Eight Island Bridge is five statute miles. The channel is narrow with strong reversing and side currents, and there is a very busy boat ramp just north of the Wrightsville Beach Bridge. Slower boats (sailboats and some trawlers, which are often less maneuverable than faster smaller boats) usually cannot make the five mile distance in 30 minutes, and would be forced to wait for nearly an hour at one bridge or another. This would cause congestion and possible accidents at the bridges.
            When Comments are requested it will be up to us boaters to send our comments, because the car drivers will certainly favor this proposal. We’ll keep you posted. 

Wrightsville Beach, NC, Bridge Repairs, Channel Obstructions:
           From the USCG 5th District Bridge Branch: Mariners are advised that structural repairs will be conducted from February 20 until April 5, 2009 at the S.R. 74 Bridge, at AIWW mile 283.1, at Wrightsville Beach, NC.  To facilitate repairs, construction equipment (two barges, measuring 40 feet X 60 feet with crane and work platforms measuring 10 feet X 15 feet along with two work boats) will occupy the channel to perform pile replacement, sheet piling, excavation, and concrete fill.  Normal activity will be from 7 a.m. until dark, Monday through Saturday. 
There are activities which will require placement of construction equipment in the channel:

  1. During sheet piling driving operations, each day from 11:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning February 23 to 25, 2009, and from March 2 to 4, 2009, the drawbridge will be in the full opened position to vessels; however, construction equipment will be moored in the navigable channel reducing the available horizontal clearance to approximately 45 feet.
  2. After the sheet pile wall is installed, the larger 40 X 60 barge will only be placed in the channel intermittently throughout the remainder of the project and there will be no conflict with the channel on any Friday through Sunday, nor any holidays.
  3. During concrete placement at the end of the project, the larger 40 X 60 barge may be placed in the channel for one day or one night only, ranging from March 20 to April 2, 2009.

Mariners requiring the full width of the channel are requested to provide at least two hours advance notice by calling either (910) 612-8112, (336) 8102 or the bridge tender at (910) 256-2886.  Construction equipment will be moored outside the navigable channel when not utilized.  All barges will be marked with red quick flash lights on all corners adjacent to the channel and white steady burn lights on the corners furthest from the channel.  Mariners should also use extreme caution when transiting the area.

Cape Fear River Dredging:
           From the 5th District LNM 07: The Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. Dredge ILLINOIS will be conducting dredging operations in the Cape Fear River from Wilmington Inner Harbor to Baldhead Reach from 02 February until 15 May, 2009. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM Channels 13 and 16. A submerged pipeline will run from the Southport Channel in the vicinity of Cape Fear River to Little River Daybeacon 13 (LLNR 40080) to Caswell Beach outside the channel and via the jack-up booster REGGIE. Mariners are cautioned to stay clear of dredge, booster, floating (pontoon) and submerged pipelines, barges, derricks and operating wires associated with dredging and marine construction operations.

Dredging, St. Johns River:
           From the USCG 7th District LNM 07: Subaqueous Services has commenced emergency maintenance dredging (38-foot project), Marine Corps Terminal Slipway and Berthing Area at Blount Island, Jacksonville, Florida, in the vicinity of 30-23.49N 081-31.07W. Dredging operations will continue twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven (7) days per week until completion on or about February 28, 2009. The dredge JERI B, two (2) tugs (Gator and D Lee) will be on-scene. A 15,000 foot HDPE submerged line will be extended from the Marine Corps Terminal to Dayson Island disposal site. All Subaqueous Services, LLC vessels can be contacted on VHF Channel 13 and 16 for safety and maneuvering information. Mariners are advised to exercise caution while transiting the area. For further information please contact Mr. Jarret Vincent at (904) 502-3716.
No Radar, Please!
           The National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) has requested that all mariners unless authorized by NASA please refrain from RADAR tracking of the STS-119 launch and landing. STS-119 is scheduled for a nominal fourteen (14) day mission to the International Space Station. The possible launch opportunity is February 19, 2009. The possible landing period depending on the actual launch date is March 4, 2009. For further information please contact Ms. Cathy Sham at (218) 483-0124. (7th District LNM 06)

Loran Station Jupiter Unusable Time:
           From the 7th District LNM 07: This is a proposal to authorize LORSTA Jupiter (Rate 7980-Y). Unusable time from 1500Z-1630Z on February 26, 2009. The alternative time will be from 1500Z-1630Z on February 27, 2009. Objections will be considered until 1600Z February 20, 2009. Users shall address inquires to the Southeast U.S. LORAN-C Chain Operations Control Officer at (703) 313-5873 or 5900. Current LORAN-C status is available 24 hours a day through the internet address at HTTP://WWW.NAVCEN.USCG.GOV.

Florida Bridge Update: From the USCG 7th District LNM 07:           
            Sisters Creek Bridge, Mile 739.2: This bridge will be under repair until April 10, 2009. Between January 12 and April 10, 2009, one half of the channel will be blocked by a barge working on fender replacement on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of each week, between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
            BB McCormick Bridge (Mile 747.5): Due to continued construction activities, the channel under this bridge will be closed until February 27, 2009, from 7:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will be limited openings available between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m.       
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.
            CSX Railroad Bridge, South Fork, New River, Ft. Lauderdale, (Mile 2.8): The vertical clearance will be temporarily reduced by 10 feet between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on February 21 and 22, 2009 for a bridge inspection. Its horizontal clearance has been temporarily reduced to 56 feet for several months.
            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.
Okeechobee Waterway, Mile 108.2: The Fort Denaud Bridge will be closed for maintenance on March 17, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m.         
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.
            GIWW: Pinellas Bayway (Mile 114) and Corey Causeway (Mile 117.7): There will be a test of a deviation to the schedule of these two bridges from 7:00 a.m. March 2 through 7:00 p.m. May 8, 2009 to test a twice an hour opening schedule.

Dredging for Beaches, SW. Florida:
           The USCG 7th District LNM 06 reports that Weeks Marine, Inc., will commence a beach re-nourishment project on Lido Key Beach on or about April 15, 2009, with completion date on or about April 15, 2009. The cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK and attendant plant will be using a staging area east of Cayo Costa in Charlotte Harbor, Florida, in approximate position 26 deg 42’07”N 082 deg 13’49”W. The dredge and attendant plant will have all Coast Guard lighting required for night operations. The dredge crew and tug operators will monitor VHF Channels 13 and 16. Mariners are urged to use extreme caution and transit the area at their slowest safe speed to create minimum wake. For further information please contact Mr. Charles Balentine at (985) 875-2525.

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.