East Coast Alerts
By Mel Neale
Fort Pierce North Bridge Hourly Openings:
Due to extensive corrosion evaluations at the Fort Pierce North Bridge, Fort Pierce, Florida, the Fort Pierce North Bridge will be placed on an hourly opening schedule whereas the bridge will open on the top of the hour from 9:05 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily, May 9 through May 13, 2011. The bridge will open on demand at all other times. (7th District LNM 13)*
*Italicized text above and below indicates our comment or paraphrase. Plain text is copied from the Notices to Mariners or other sources given.
Severe AICW Shoaling North of Charleston:
Severe shoaling has been reported in vicinity of Sullivans Island, south of Winyah Bay-Charleston Hbr DBN 117A, reported depth at 3.5 FT in channel. All mariners are advised to transit the area with extreme caution. (The location of the shoaling shown on an enclosed survey is at the mouth of Inlet Creek, south of 117A, on the east side of the channel. 7th District LNM 13)
FL-SEACOAST: US Navy Exercises.
THE FOLLOWING AREAS WILL CONTAIN EXERCISES HAZARDOUS TO SURFACE VESSELS FROM 0000-2359 DAILY BETWEEN 28 MAR-03 APR 11 IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS:
GUNEX AREA AREA BOUNDED BY
“BB/CC” 30-45N 080-32W
“31J” 29-20N 079-50W
“27C” 30-00N 081-00W
THERE ARE SEVEN UNRECOVERED INERT MINES IN THE FOLLOWING AREA:
"26C/26D" 30-10N 081-00W
ALL MARINERS ARE ADVISED TO STAY CLEAR OF THE ABOVE AREAS. (7th District LNM 13)
Shoaling in St. Lucie Inlet:
FL East Coast St Lucie Inlet St Lucie Inlet Light 4 (LLNR 10003) has been changed to St Lucie Danger Shoal LT 11472 4210 due to heavy shoaling on the north side of St Lucie Inlet. TEMP Unlighted Buoy 5 has been established in position 27-09-58-583N 080-09-01.671W to mark best water. Severe shoaling continues to progress in a SW direction (7th District LNM 13)
Coastal Waters from Little River, South Carolina to Panama City, Florida
Charleston Area Ranges Discontinued:
JENKINS ISLAND FLAT RANGE FRONT DAYBEACON A (LLNR 35710) will be permanently discontinued.
JENKINS ISLAND FLAT RANGE REAR DAYBEACON A (LLNR 35715) will be permanently discontinued.
The work is schedule to be completed the week of 16 April 2011. (7th District LNM 12)
USAF/USCG Testing off Georgia Coast:
During the period 3-16 April 2011, the USAF, in coordination with USCG will be conducting testing/training to validate new system compliance. Some reduced reception may or may not occur in the effective range of some USCG Radar Systems. If a reduction in capability is noted during the period 3-16 April 2011, please contact USCG Captain of the Port Charleston at 843-740-7050. (7th District LNM 13)
USACE Bottom Testing off Georgia Coast:
The US Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District will be conducting offshore bottom vibracoring operations from April 1-22,2011 during daylight hours. Boring will be conducted by the vessel SNELL between approximate positions 31-58.04N 080-43.33W and 31-56.27N 080-36.20W. This vessel is restricted in its ability to maneuver. Mariners are urged to exercise caution and transit at their slowest safe speed. Please contact the vessel SNELL on VHF CH 13 and 16 for on scene coordination, communication and passing arrangements. (7th District LNM 13)
Canaveral Lock to Reopen Soon:
A Notice to Navigation Interests from the USACE in Jacksonville dated February 2, 2011 states that the Canaveral Lock will continue to be closed for dewatering and the installation of a new Manatee Protection System until completion on April 8, 2011. On April 9, 2011 the lock will reopen for all vessels.
Check www.saj.usace.army.mil, choose OPERATIONS DIVISION tab and select the NOTICE TO NAVIGATION from the pull down menu, or call USACE: 904 232 2103 (Aaron Kelly).
Drought Continues to Lower the Okeechobee Waterway:
On March 30, 2011 the lake level was reported at 11.66 feet. You can check the daily lake level at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Divisions/Engineering/Branches/WaterResources/WaterMgt/DOCS/Reports/r-oke.html.
A Notice to Navigation Interests from the USACE Jacksonville District dated December 13, 2010, states that when the lake level drops to between 12.5 and 11.5 feet, the WP Franklin and the St. Lucie Locks go on a restricted schedule of lockage, every two hours: 0700, 0900, 1100, 1300, 1500, 1700 and 1900. The current lake level falls within this range.
Northern Okeechobee Locks Closed:
Declining Lake Okeechobee Level Triggers Navigation Lock Closures
Lake access remains available at area boat ramps on the lake’s north shore Okeechobee, FL — Beginning on Monday, March 14, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) will close or limit the operation of five navigation locks on the north shore of Lake Okeechobee because of declining water levels in Lake Okeechobee and lock chambers. The locks will not have a locktender on duty when closed.
The navigation locks affected by this operational decision are:
- S-135 at J&S Fish Camp, Martin County: Closed.
- S-127 at Buckhead Ridge, Glades County: Closed.
- S-131 at Lakeport, Glades County: Closed.
- G-36 at Henry Creek, Okeechobee County: Closed.
- S-193 at Taylor Creek, Okeechobee County: Open Saturdays and Sundays only during regular hours (5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.) until Lake Okeechobee’s level reaches 11 feet NGVD.
While these navigation locks are out of operation, boaters will be able to continue accessing the lake from its north shore at local boat ramps. The lock closures are part of a larger effort by the District to ensure South Florida’s water resources are properly maintained throughout the remainder of the dry season.
Lake Okeechobee’s current level is 11.92 feet — more than two feet below the historical average for this time of year — and is declining at an accelerated rate. The District operates navigation locks on the north shore of Lake Okeechobee to provide the greatest lake access possible for the boating public while maintaining flood control for the region. As the lake level reaches 12 feet NGVD and lower, the SFWMD closes the locks to maintain water levels in adjacent canals and protect groundwater availability. This operational decision also ensures that boats do not attempt to navigate when water levels are insufficient to support safe travel and helps to prevent damage to manatee protection devices inside the lock chambers.
The S-193 lock has a lower floor elevation and a deeper channel leading to the Okeechobee Waterway than the other four north shore locks, which allows for boat traffic at lower lake levels. The District will close the lock to boat traffic on weekdays to maintain adjacent canals at levels higher than Lake Okeechobee. On the south shore of the lake, the S-310 navigation lock at Clewiston is currently secured in the open position. The navigation lock is operational and manned by a locktender when Lake Okeechobee levels reach 15.5 feet NGVD and higher to provide flood protection upstream of the lock.
Navigation locks on the Okeechobee Waterway, which includes the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie Canal, are operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Information for those navigation locks may be obtained by calling the South Florida Operations Office at 863-983-8101. (7th District LNM 12)
Estero Island Dredging and Construction:
Florida Dredge & Dock LLC will commence dredging and groin construction in the vicinity of Estero Island, Lee County Florida on or about April 15, 2011. The Dredging operations will be conducted 24 hours per day and the terminal groin operations will be conducted 12 hours per day, seven days per week. The Dredge Gator Point will monitor VHF CH 13, 16. (7th District LNM 13)
Shoaling at Gordon Pass:
Shoaling has been reported in the vicinity of Gordon Pass Channel DBN 1 (LLNR 17453) and Gordon Pass Channel LT 2 (LLNR 17455) in approximate position 26-05.492N 081-48.388W. All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 10)
Dredging at Longboat Key:
Cashman Dredging Inc will commence dredging operations at the north end of Longboat Key, FL on or about March 29-May 30, 2011. Dredge operations will be conducted 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The hopper dredge ATCHAFALAYA will monitor VHF CH 13 and 67. All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 13)
Hazards to Navigation:
Everglades National Park: The Coast Guard received a report of a rusted steel I-beam exposed above the waterline 1 FT at high tide and 6-7 FT at low tide I NM west of Middle Cape Sable in position 25-09.305N 081-09.671W. All mariners are advised to transit the area with caution. (7th District LNM 12)
Florida Bridge Update: From the USCG 7th District LNM 13/2011:
NOTE: Information new with this alert is in bold. There are many on-going projects lasting sometimes for years. You can “Search” a bridge name for previous East Coast Alerts that may contain information that is still current.
Fort Pierce North Bridge: Due to extensive corrosion evaluations at the Fort Pierce North Bridge, Fort Pierce, Florida, the Fort Pierce North Bridge will be placed on an hourly opening schedule whereas the bridge will open on the top of the hour from 9:05 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily, May 9 through May 13, 2011. The bridge will open on demand at all other times.
CSX RAILROAD BRIDGE: The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has issued a public notice regarding the ‘Availability of Environmental Assessment’ for the proposed replacement of the CSXT Railroad Bridge across the South Fork of the New River, mile 2.8, at Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida. The USCG, as lead federal agency, announces availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed project. The USCG solicits comments as part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Public Notice (8-11) which solicits comments through April 14, 2011 is attached to this Local Notice to Mariners. Comments may be expressed to Miss Evelyn Smart by telephone at (305) 415-6989 or by e-mail at Evelyn.Smart@uscg.mil. The public notice 08-11 which solicits comments for a thirty day period can be view at http://www.uscg.mil/d7/d7dpb/links.asp or http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=pnBridges&Active=1®ion=7.
Chart: 11467 CG Bridge File: 3886
East Venetian Causeway (NOT on the AICW): The East Venetian Causeway Bridge across Miami Beach Channel, Biscayne Bay, Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida is on single-leaf operation until further notice due to a mechanical breakdown.
MacArthur Causeway Bridge: Bridge Inspection: The vertical clearance of the MacArthur Causeway Bridge across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Miami, Florida may be reduced by five feet during times that the snooper bucket will be hanging over the channel. The inspection is scheduled between April 7 and April 13, 2011 during daylight hours. The personnel conducting the bridge inspection can be contacted on VHF-FM channel 9 for passing information.
USCG Fifth District
Coastal Waters from Shrewsbury River, New Jersey to Little River, South Carolina
NJ Bridges Updates:
The Cape May County Bridge Commission owns and operates the County Route 619,Townsend Inlet Drawbridge, mile 0.3, in Avalon, NJ. and plans a temporary deviation from the regulations governing it’s operation. They will deviate from that portion of the regulation 33 CFR 117.757 by temporarily requiring that the bridge need not be opened between 5 a.m. on March 1, 2011 and 5 p.m. on April 30, 2011. Mariners will be able to take a detour through Corsons Inlet eight miles to the north or Hereford Inlet eight miles to the south. Mariners that can may pass beneath the closed span with its 23 feet of vertical clearance. (5th District LNM 07)
The Cape May County Bridge Commission owns and operates the County Route 619, Grassy Sound Channel Drawbridge, mile 1.0, in North Wildwood, NJ. and plans a temporary deviation from the regulations governing it’s operation. They will deviate from that portion of the regulation 33 CFR 117.721 by temporarily requiring that the bridge need not be opened between 5 a.m. on March 1, 2011 and 5 p.m. on April 30, 2011. Mariners will be able to take a detour through the nearby Great Channel Drawbridge. Mariners that can, may pass beneath the closed span with its 15 feet of vertical clearance. (5th District LNM 07)
Mariners are advised that cleaning and painting operations will be performed at the Dorset Avenue Bridge, at ICW mile 71.2, across Inside Thorofare in Ventnor City, New Jersey. Beginning at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8, 2011, until and including 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 27, 2011, the cleaning and painting require immobilizing half of the draw span to single-leaf operation so passage through the bridge will be limited to a 25-foot width for the duration of the project. The opposite connecting span while not under repair will continue to open for vessels with a work boat occupying the channel under the bridge. The work boat can be moved immediately if an opening is required. Furthermore, mariners requiring the full opening of the lift spans will be directed to use the Atlantic Ocean as the alternate route and are advised to exercise caution when transiting the area. (From the 5th District Bridge Branch)
Barge Sunk North of Gilmerton Bridge:
1. OWNER: BAY BRIDGE ENTERPRISES, 4300 BUELL ST, CHESAPEAKE, VA 23324. POC: RON MILLS, (956) 346-2777. OWNER IS AWARE OF HIS RESPONSIBILITY TO MARK AND SUBSEQUENTLY REMOVE.
2. 36-46-36N, 076-18-00W IN 35FT DEPTH OF WATER APPROX 500YDS NORTHEAST OF GILMERTON BRIDGE AND APPROX 90YDS NORTHEAST OF CHARTED ELIZABETH RIVER SOUTHERN BRANCH LIGHT 20 (LLNR 10030). BARGE PROTRUDES 26FT INTO CHANNEL ON THE RED SIDE.
3. 117FT X 32FT STEEL BARGE IS UPSIDE DOWN, ORIENTED NW TO SE, SOUNDLY SUNK 4FT IN MUD, AND NOT TIED DOWN OR ANCHORED. CORNERS OF BARGE CLOSEST TO CHANNEL MARKED WITH 2 ORANGE FLOATS, 2FT AND 8IN IN DIAMETER. USACE SURVEY OF 24 MAR11 SHOWS MINIMUM CLEARANCE OF 27.9FT ABOVE BARGE AT MLLW.
4. RECOMMEND MARKING WITH ONE LIGHTED WRECK BUOY.
5. OWNER WILL SUBMIT SALVAGE PLAN TO SECTOR AND EXPECTS SALVAGE TO OCCUR NO SOONER THAN 29MAR11.
6. BARGE SANK IN CENTER OF CHANNEL ON 20MAR11. BARGED DRAGGED TO CURRENT POSITION ON 23MAR11. (From 5th District Bridge Branch)
Adams Creek AICW Aids to be Discontinued:
The U. S. Coast Guard proposes to discontinue the following aids to navigation:
A. Adams Creek Range A Front Light 7 (LLNR 38510).
B. Adams Creek Range A Rear Light (LLNR 38315).
C. Adams Creek Range B Front Light 9 (LLNR 38330).
D. Adams Creek Range B Rear Light (LLNR 38335).
Comments on this proposal should be forwarded to Mr. Tom Flynn at (757) 398-6229, e-mail Thomas.W.Flynn@uscg.mil NOT LATER THAN 01 June 2011. (5th District LNM 12)
Figure Eight Island Bridge Repairs:
Mariners are advised that fender system repairs will be performed at the Figure Eight Swing Bridge, at AIWW mile 278.1, at Scotts Hill, NC beginning March 28, 2011 until April 15, 2011, Monday through Friday, during daytime hours. To facilitate repairs, a work barge will be used behind the fenders not to impede vessel traffic. Mariners should use extreme caution when transiting the area. (From 5th District Bridge Branch)
New Topsail Inlet, NC, AICW Dredging:
The dredges CHARLESTON and JEKYLL ISALND will be conducting dredging operations in the AIWW in the vicinity of Top Sail Inlet and Banks Channel until 30 April, 2011. A submerged pipeline will be transit from the dredging area to Top Sail Beach. The dredges will monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16. (5th District LNM 12)
USCG First District
Coastal Waters from Eastport, Maine to Shrewsbury, New Jersey
Boston Harbor Bridge Construction:
Pile driving and bridge construction will be done on the East side of the Congress Street Bridge. Mariners are advised to proceed with caution while transiting the area. (First District LNM 13)
Narragansett Bay Anchorage Changes:
The US Coast Guard proposes to remove an obsolete naval explosives anchorage in Narragansett Bay and to add an offshore anchorage in Rhode Island Sound, south of Brenton Point, Rhode Island, for use by vessels waiting to enter Narragansett Bay. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by April 20. For more information on this proposal and where to comment please go to: 76 Fed. Reg. 15246 (March 21, 2011) http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/pdf/2011-6498.pdf. (First District LNM 12)
Long Island, CT Cable Repairs:
The Connecticut Light and Power Cable Company will be doing cable repairs from 1 April - 1 May 2011. The work will be done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Mariners are requested to proceed with caution while transiting the area. (First District LNM 13)
NY/CT Block Island Sound Cable Repairs:
Subsea power cable repairs will be done from approximately 12 March - 30 April 2011. The work location is approximately centered at LAT: N 41d 00’ 36” and LONG: W 073d 22’ 31” extends about 2000 feet north northwest and about 2000 feet to the south. The hours of operation will be 7 days a weeks, 24 hours a day. On scene will be the cable laying vessel C/S NEXANS SKAGERRAK that will be monitoring VHF-FM channels 13 & 16. Mariners are requested to proceed with extreme caution and remain 2000 feet or more away from the repair vessel while transiting the area. (First District LNM 09)
Hudson Canyon Research and Testing:
The US Navy will be conducting research and testing operations in an area approximately 70nm ESE of Long Island in the Hudson Canyon area. The operations will take place from 7 April 2011 thru 23 April 2011 within a box defined by the following corner points:
NW corner: 40 deg 03 min N, 72 deg 36 min W
NE corner: 40 deg 31 min N, 70 deg 38 min W
SW corner: 39 deg 34 min N, 72 deg 22 min W
SE corner: 40 deg 03 min N, 70 deg 24 min W
In this area and during this time frame there will be numerous sub-surface obstructions posing a severe threat to trawl and drag nets as well as transiting surface craft. If possible, vessels should regard this as an area to be avoided or transit with caution. (First District LNM 12)
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.