East Coast Alerts

By Mel Neale

Attention Snowbirds!!

You Can Watch Video Simulation of Ben Sawyer Bridge Closure:
              Letter from Ben Sawyer Bridge Rehabilitation Project: *

           After showing the contractor’s computerized video simulation of the closure activities at the Sullivan’s Island Town Council and the City of Isle of Palms Council meetings, we received several requests to share it on our website.
           Next week will be busy for our project with the closing of the Intracoastal Waterway at the Ben Sawyer planned for 8AM on Tuesday, December 1, 2009. 
           Have a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.

*Italicized text above and below indicates our comment or paraphrase.  Plain text is copied from the Notices to Mariners or other sources given.
            A U.S. Navy contractor will be conducting a aerial geophysical survey of the Bear Inlet and Hammocks Beach State Park and waters between Bogue Sound – New River Light 55 and Bogue Sound – New River Light 58. The survey will be conducted by helicopter which may be flying at an altitude of 3 to 15 feet. Operations will commence on 01 December, 2009 and will be conducted during daylight hours until completed. A logistical boat will be in the survey area and may be reached on VHF-FM channel 16. (5th District LNM 47)

Low Flying Helo Survey in NC, Bear Inlet ICW area: 

November Nor’easter Damage in Virginia:
            This is after the fact, but you might be interested to know about some of the damage from the three day storm (Nov. 12-14, 2009). The list in the 5th District LNM 46  of markers damaged included many aids (mostly beacons, both daybeacons and lighted) in the following areas: Willoughby Bay, Little Creek, Lower James River tributaries, Back River in Hampton, Poquoson River, its tributaries and Poquoson Flats, York Spit and York River, Mobjack Bay, Piankatank River, Fleets Bay (in all of the Northern Neck creeks in that area). The list in the 5th District LNM 47 of markers repaired included most all of the ones from Mobjack Bay south through the Norfolk area, and also included many repaired that had not been reported as of the date of LNM 46.
            Also of interest, but not relevant now: The Great Bridge Lock was flooded and closed for more than three days with valve and electrical problems. The Dismal Swamp Canal was temporarily closed due to trees blocking it. There was a large amount of debris (trees, stumps, logs) in the Albemarle-Chesapeake Canal, especially between Great Bridge and Centerville when we passed through on November 17, 2009 just after the lock opened, and debris was also reported in the Dismal Swamp Canal. This is another reminder that we should not take anything for granted on the waterways. Mother Nature can really dish it out when she wants to.
             We would like to thank the Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and other emergency workers who performed the repairs quickly and efficiently. The biggest problem we had in travelling at that time was with communication to find out what was open and what was not. 

Shallow North Carolina Inlet Crossings:
            Controlling depth in both the New River Crossing and Shallotte Inlet Crossings on the Atlantic ICW is surveyed at 7 feet MLW, using the waypoints given on the latest USACE surveys. However, the New River Crossing survey shows a 3-foot MLW area in the middle of the channel. On Nov. 19, 2009, we found this spot despite thorough studying of the USACE survey map. The tide was up so we had no problem. The New River Inlet Crossing was recently dredged, so this buildup has occurred in about a year’s time. On Nov. 20, 2009, Lockwoods Inlet Crossing was straightforward and deep(recently dredged); Shallotte Inlet Crossing was straightforward, and shallow as surveyed; Carolina Beach Inlet Crossing was very shallow, much more so than shown on the survey.

Shoaling South of McClellanville, SC:
            We experienced very shallow water just south of the junction of Five Fathom Creek and the ICW and for several miles southward to Awendaw Creek on November 21, 2009.

Hell Gate, GA:
            This notoriously tricky passage south of Savannah has been dredged. We passed through at near low tide on November 24, 2009. The former green can, “89”, has been replaced with a green fixed lighted beacon “89”. There was a green floater and a red floater at the turn, as well as a Danger Shoal beacon east of the green can. The least depth today was around 10 feet MLW depth. Any depth here or elsewhere may change at any time.

Dredging in Buttermilk Sound:
            When we passed the area of “216A” in Buttermilk Sound on November 24, 2009  there was a very large dredge operation working to “clear away some of the shoals” we were told. This was unexpected and we have seen no announcement of it, but were very pleased to see it.

Shallow Water in Georgia:
            The notorious shallow spots in Georgia at the southern end of Little Mud River and in Jekyll Creek are definitely still there as of November 24, 2009. We also noticed shallow water (around 10 feet MLW) in St. Andrew Sound between markers 31 and 32, at the most easterly part of that inlet crossing where the course makes a 90-degree turn to head south into the Cumberland River. While this may not seem particularly shallow by ICW standards, remember that this is basically in the ocean and wide open to ocean swells which combined with strong tidal currents produces very confused seas.

Special Notices

Download the New Navigation Rules:
           An updated and corrected version of U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Instruction (COMDTINST) M16672.2D, Navigation Rules (International- Inland) is available as a free download at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/mwv/navrules/download.htm. COMDTINST M16672.2D is a compendium of: the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (72 COLREGS 72), the Inland Navigation Rules, their respective technical annexes, a listing of the COLREGS Demarcation Lines, the Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Regulations, and, various other legal provisions regarding compliance and penalties associated with the Navigation Rules. The original version was published on March 25th, 1999, by the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Standards Branch at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC 20593-7856. This updated version (.pdf, 651 KB) has corrected typographical errors or omissions, and, includes post-publication 2003 amendments to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS).
(5th District LNM 47)

USCG First District
Coastal Waters from Eastport, Maine to Shrewsbury, New Jersey

Bath Iron Works Dredging, Maine:
           Dredging is being done at Bath Iron Works until 24 December 2009. The hours of operation are 7 days a week, 24 hours a days. On scene is a clam shell bucket, crane dredge and dump scows. Dredging is being done at the Dry-Dock Sinking Basin Pier 3 and Dry-Dock Landing Grid #1. This notice will be updated as more information is received. (First District LNM 46)

Dredging in NJ Rivers:
           Village Dock is maintenance dredging in the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers through January 30, 2010. Work hours are 24/7. The Dredge SCROD II will move on demand. The 40’ tug Fire Island and 25’ Tugs On the Rocks, Ike, and Mike, and two A-Frames will be assisting. A Crane Barge, Excavator Barge, and Material Barge will be in the vicinity of Gunning Island installing a submerged pipeline on, or about, October 8, at a depth of 11 feet crossing the channel between Shrewsbury River Channel Lighted Buoy 26 and Lighted Buoy 28. (First District LNM 46)

USCG Fifth District
Coastal Waters from Shrewsbury River, New Jersey to Little River, South Carolina

Atlantic City, NJ Bridge Repair:
           Mariners are advised that fender repairs will be conducted at the Route 87 Bridge at mile 0.6 across Absecon Inlet, in Atlantic City NJ, each day from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on November 20, 2009 through January 20, 2010. This will be a movable operation as not to impede vessel traffic. Mariners should use exercise caution when transiting the area. (5th District LNM 47)

Right Whale DMA Extended at Jordan Basin:
           NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service announces that the voluntary vessel speed restriction zone (Dynamic Management Area - DMA) near Jordan Basin has been extended due to continued sightings of right whales in the area during an aerial survey today. The Jordan Basin DMA is extended through December 4, 2009. Mariners are requested to route around these areas or transit through them at 10 knots or less.
The DMAs are bound by the following:
Jordan Basin DMA - Active through 01 Dec 2009
Northern boundary: 43 50N
Southern boundary: 43 06N
Eastern boundary: 068 02W
Western boundary: 069 02W
For more information about the DMA program and other regulations to reduce ship strikes of right whales, please visit:
(5th District LNM 47)

Dredging in Upper Delaware River:
           Sevenson Environmental Co. will be conducting dredging operations in the Upper Delaware River between Upper Delaware River Channel Lighted Buoy 12  and Upper Delaware River Channel Lighted Buoy 15 from 19 November, 2009 until 04 December, 2009. (5th District LNM 47)

Dredging in Baltimore Harbor:
           Weeks Marine DREDGE 549 will be dredging the Northwest Harbor-East Channel from 19 November, 2010 until completion. Dredge material will be transported to the Hart-Miller Island via tug and scow. During dredge operations approximately half of the 600 foot wide channel will be restricted. Plans are for the east side of channel to be dredged first, followed by the west side. The clear side will be indicated by the appropriate lights and dayshapes. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16 and it is requested that all vessels contact the dredge prior to passing and transit at a speed necessary to maintain course with NO WAKE.
        Dredging East Channel-I-95 Tunnel& the B.G & E. Cable Crossing. On or about November 19, 2009 Weeks Marines Dredge 549; will begin a three day setup with ten days of dredging, in association with there dredge project in the East Channel’s tunnel and cable crossing areas. The dredge will utilize four yellow crown (anchor) buoys with slow flashing amber (yellow) lights. Also, the tunnel and cable areas; outside of the channel limits, will be marked with twenty-two (22), red and white buoys worded “NO SPUD/ NO ANCHOR ZONE”. Theses information markers will be placed at 200’ intervals.
(5th District LNM 47)

More VIP Shoaling:
           Shoaling to a depth of less than 1.0 foot MLW has been reported between VIRGINIA Inside Passage Light 214 and Virginia Inside Passage Light 226. Mariners should use exercise caution when transiting this waterway. (5th District LNM 47)

More Aids to Navigation to be Discontinued for Shoaling:
           The Coast Guard is proposing to discontinue the Aids to Navigation at Sand Shoal Inlet due to shoaling and is soliciting comments. The following aids to navigation would be discontinued;
A. Sand Shoal Inlet Lighted Whistle Buoy A.
B. Sand Shoal Inlet Lighted Buoy 1.
C. Sand Shoal Inlet Lighted Buoy 3.
D. Sand Shoal Inlet Buoy 5.
E. Sand Shoal Inlet Lighted Buoy 6.
Sand Shoal Inlet has experienced severe shoaling and Coast Guard assets are prevented from maintaining these Aids to Navigation. In your comments, please address the impact this proposal may impose on your operation. Send comments to the following address not later than 08 December, 2009:
Commander (dpw)
Fifth Coast Guard District
431 Crawford Street, Rm.100
Portsmouth, VA. 23704
Attn.: LTJG James Hilt Or email to: James.M.Hilt@uscg.mil
(5th District LNM 47)

York River, VA, Dredging:
           The Dredge JENNI LEA will be conducting hydraulic dredging in Queens Creek from 22 November, 2009 until 01 January, 2010. The assisting vessels MISS LEANNE and DANNY JOE will be onscene. The dredge will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16. A submerged and floating pipeline will transport the dredge spoil to the beach and will be lighted in accordance with navigation regulations. (5th District LNM 47)

Dredging of NC Inlets:
              1. The ACOE Dredge FRY will commence daylight dredging operations at New River Inlet on 13 November, 2009 and be on site approximately 20 days. The dredge maintains bridge watch on VHF channels 13 and 16 for any concerned traffic.
           2. The ACOE Dredge MERRITT will commence daylight dredging operations at Lockwoods Folly Inlet on 15 November, 2009 and be on site approximately 20 days. The dredge maintains bridge watch on VHF channels 13 and 16 for any concerned traffic.
           3. The ACOE Dredge CURRITUCK continues 24 hour dredging operations at Rollinson Channel/ Hatteras Inlet and will be on site through November, 2009. Dredging Operations will require frequent transits through Hatteras Inlet. The dredge maintains bridge watch on VHF channels 13 and 16 for any concerned traffic.
(5th District LNM 47)
            What about the ICW Crossings?

Oak Island Bridge, Mile 316.6, Delays for Girder Installation:
           Mariners are advised to TAKE CAUTION and PROCEED SLOWLY when approaching the construction site of a new highway bridge to Oak Island (Middleton Avenue), over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Mile 316.6, in Brunswick County, NC. Every other day, between November 16 and December 7, 2009, barges and a crane will be in the channel installing center girders causing delays of approximately four hours between :0730 and :1130. We advise mariners to check the schedule to avoid waterway delays by calling the bridge site (910-278-5526 or 910-443-0688) a day or two prior to your arrival. We passed through here on Nov. 20, 2009 around noon. There was no construction activity, although the equipment was in place beside the channel. (5th District LNM 47)

New Sunset Beach Bridge Construction Delays:
           Mariners are advised to TAKE CAUTION and PROCEED SLOWLY when approaching the construction site of a new highway bridge to Sunset Beach (SR-1172), over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Mile 337.9, in Brunswick County, NC. The bridge girder installation is schedule to take place between 6:00 a.m. December 1, 2009 through 6:00 P.M. January 31, 2010. The contractor will be utilizing a deck barge with a 50’ beam, a ringer crane on a stationary barge with an 85’ beam, and tugs/pushers to conduct the bridge girder installation. To provide for the safety of the public, the Coast Guard will temporarily restrict access to this section of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway during center girder installation, scheduled daily from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. We advise mariners to check the schedule to avoid waterway delays by calling the bridge site (910-579-3538) a day or two prior to your arrival. (5th District LNM 47)

USCG Seventh District
Coastal Waters from Little River, South Carolina to Panama City, Florida

New Dates for 10-Day ICW Closure at Ben Sawyer Bridge:
It’s now one day later, but please notice the new information in the second paragraph below:*
MSIB (63-09) –AICW 10-Day Closure December 1-11, 2009; Ben Sawyer Bridge, SC
Update #3 & Issued: November 18, 2009 1430            Expires: December 15, 2009 0600

           Due to a scheduled replacement of the Ben Sawyer Bridge’s swing span, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW) will be closed to marine traffic from Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 12:01 A.M. through Friday, December 11, 2009 at 11:59 P.M.  The Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone around the Ben Sawyer Bridge.  The safety zone will encompass the AICW from 180 yards northwest of the bridge, and 220 yards southwest of the bridge. No one may enter the safety zone without prior authorization from the Captain of the Port Charleston or his designated representative. 

           South Carolina DOT will conduct post-construction tests following the span replacement.  Accordingly, the Ben Sawyer Bridge will have limited openings from Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 12:00 A.M. through Monday, December 14, 2009 at 11:59 p.m.  Scheduled bridge openings will be broadcasted via channel 16 VHF and incorporated into this MSIB as soon as the information becomes available.

           Mariners are encouraged to monitor the Broadcast Notice to Mariners on VHF Channel 16. Coast Guard Sector Charleston will broadcast the closure of the AICW and the rescission of the corresponding safety zone as appropriate. The bridge construction schedule is somewhat dependent on weather, and any changes to the schedule will be made to this MSIB.  For questions regarding the bridge construction, please contact Ms. Julie Hussey of PCL at (843) 224-1096 or Mr. Kim Partenheimer of PB Americas at (843) 972-1775.  Coast Guard Sector Charleston may be contacted via our 24-hour Command Center Line at (843) 740-7050.

MSIB (23-09) – Update to Ben Sawyer Bridge Closure and Restriction
Update 4 & Issued: October 29, 2009 1200 Expires: December 9, 2009 0600

           Due to construction work on the Ben Sawyer Bridge, the bridge will be closed and restricted from 7 am to 5 pm on Monday through Friday, and 7 to noon on Saturdays from June 1 through November 30, 2009.  

           This is due to the installation of the new, and removal of the old, fender installation. A two (2) hour notice is required for only boat traffic requiring up to a 55 foot clearance during the aforementioned date and times; please provide an advance notice for those requiring a greater clearance. To make notifications, please contact the Bridge Tender at (843) 883-3581. For questions regarding Coast Guard matters please contact CWO3 Hunter Crider at (843) 724-7647 or LT Julie Miller at (843) 720-3273 during normal business hours Monday through Friday. For all other issues, please contact the Coast Guard’s 24 hour Command Center Line at (843) 740-7050.
           Check the Nov. 12, 2009 East Coast Alerts for information on bypassing this ICW Closure.

Dredging in Kings Bay and Fernandina Beach Area:
           Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC, will commence maintenance dredging in the Entrance Channel, Kings Bay, Georgia and Fernandina Beach Harbor, Florida. The dredges LIBERTY ISLAND and TERRAPIN ISLAND will be onscene and monitoring Marine Radio VHF Channels 13 and 16…contact Mr. Dave Allen at (630) 574-3000. (7th District LNM 46)

Okeechobee Waterway Update:
          On November 24, 2009 the lake level was reported at 13.59 feet.

Dredging Equipment in Lake Worth Inlet:
           Weeks Marine, Inc., will establish a staging area for anchored dredge equipment (submerged pipelines and work barge) on or about November 10, 2009, in Lake Worth Inlet, Florida. The approximate position is between: 26 deg 45’24”N and 26 deg 45’36”N 080 deg 02’30”N and 080 deg 02’36”W. All anchored equipment will have approved Coast Guard lighting for night operations. This equipment will remain on-scene until March 2010. 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. Tim Weckwerth at (985) 875-2500. (7th District LNM 46)

Dodge Island Turbidity Curtain:
           All mariners are advised that due to seawall construction upgrades on the south side of Dodge Island, Miami, Florida, there will be a Turbidity Curtain installed. The Curtain will extend into the Dodge Island Cut approximately 120-150 feet south from the existing rip rap…Three (3) temporary Turbidity Pilings approximately 10-12 feet in height will be equipped with amber strobe lights. The construction upgrades will be completed on or about June 30, 2010. Mariners transiting Fishermans Channel are urged to be on the lookout and steer clear of the piling and curtains. If you have any further questions please contact Mr. Frederick P. Wong at (305) 329-4058 or (305) 310-0988. (7th District LNM 46)

Florida Bridge Update: From the USCG 7th District LNM 46
           Bridge of Lions (Mile 777.9) Restrictions:
From the Bridge of Lions Rehabilitation Project:

           The restrictions listed below will only be used on an as-needed basis, so they may not be used every day for which they are scheduled. Please contact (904) 825-3647 or (904) 669-1165 the day before traveling through the area to check if the restrictions will be used or not. 
           Channel Restrictions:
           November 30-December 22, 2009: Monday through Friday, 7:30-10:30 a.m.--Channel restricted to 35 feet horizontal clearance, bridge opens on schedule.
           November 30-December 22, 2009: Sundays through Thursdays, 9:00p.m.-7:00 a.m.—Channel closed to all marine traffic opening only for declared emergencies.
            Max Brewer Bridge, Mile 878.9: AKA Titusville Bridge, is being replaced with a high level bridge. Construction began May 11, 2009 and will continue through April, 2011.
            8:00 a.m. November 1-- 5:00 p.m. November 30, 2009: The west channel of the swing bridge will be closed. The east channel is open with no restrictions.
            8:00 a.m. December 1—5:00 p.m. December 31, 2009: The east channel of the swing bridge will be closed. The west channel is open with no restrictions.   Marine interests should contact Lane Construction at 321 607 5700 for additional information on construction schedules.
            Banana River: SR 528 (Bennett Causeway Bridge, not on the ICW): Vertical clearance will be reduced by 5 feet in center span Nov. 26-Dec. 30, 2009, for painting.           
            Parker Boulevard Bridge, Mile 1013: Starting mid-November will be on single leaf operations. Double leaf operations will be available with a two hour notice.           
            Atlantic Boulevard Bridge, Mile 1056: Starting mid-November will be on single leaf operations. Double leaf operations will be available with a two hour notice.           
            SW 11th Avenue Bridge, North Fork, New River, Ft. Lauderdale: Under repair until January 2010, but will be operational, except for two 24-hour closure periods. The first 24-hour closure will be January 14, 2010.   
            Coral Creek Bridge, Pine Island: A new bridge is under construction across Coral Creek, Pine Island, Collier County, to be completed Oct. 1, 2010.
            Cortez Bridge: Worth Contracting has advised this office that the Cortez Bridge, mile 84.6, Cortez, Florida will be on single-leaf operations from September 14 through December 31, 2009. A double-leaf opening is available with a two hour notice to the bridge tender.

           Dunedin Causeway Bridge: Single-leaf operation from Sept.8, 2009 through Feb. 28, 2010. A double-leaf opening will be available with a 3-hour notice to the bridge tender. Scaffolding will reduce the vertical clearance of the down span by five feet.

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 this use.