[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 83 (Wednesday, April 30, 1997)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 23409-23410]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-11211]



Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 117

RIN 2115-AE47

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Bronx River, New York

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.


SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to change the operating rules for the 
Bruckner Boulevard Bridge, over the Bronx River in the Bronx, New York. 
In addition, the location of bridge in this section will be more 
clearly identified and redundant language regarding openings for public 
vessels and vessels in distress will be removed. The owner of the 
bridge has requested that 4 hours notice for openings be provided, 
except between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, when the bridge need not open for the passage of vessels. This 
change is expected to provide for the needs of navigation and relieve 
the bridge owner of the burden of crewing the bridge at all times.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before June 30, 1997.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be mailed to Commander (obr), First Coast 
Guard District, Building 135A, Governors Island, New York, 10004-5073. 
The telephone number is (212) 668-7165. Comments will become part of 
this docket and will be available for inspection or copying at the 
above address.

Mr. J. Arca, project officer, First Coast Guard District, (212) 668-


Request for Comments

    The Coast Guard encourages interested persons to participate in 
this rulemaking by submitting written data, views, or arguments. 
Persons submitting comments should include their names and addresses, 
identify this notice (CGD01-97-018), and the specific section of the 
proposal to which their comments apply, and give reasons for each 
comment. Persons wanting acknowledgment of receipt of comments should 
enclose a stamped, self-addressed post card or envelope.
    The Coast Guard will consider all comments received during the 
comment period. It may change this proposal in view of the comments. 
The Coast Guard plans no public hearing; however, persons may request a 
public hearing by writing to the address under ADDRESSES. If it is 
determined that the opportunity for oral presentations will aid this 
rulemaking, the Coast Guard will hold a public hearing at a time and 
place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

Background and Purpose

    The Bruckner Boulevard Bridge, at mile 1.1, over the Bronx River in 
the Bronx, New York, has vertical clearances of 27' above mean high 
water (MHW) and 34' above mean low water (MLW) in the closed position. 
The existing rules at 33 CFR part 117.771(a) require the Bruckner 
Boulevard Bridge to open on signal, except during designated rush hour 
periods. On September 27, 1988, the Coast Guard approved plans for the 
rehabilitation of the bridge. To facilitate the work, a temporary final 
rule (54 FR 18282, April 28, 1989) was approved, permitting the bridge 
to remain closed for 36 months from April 9, 1989, through April 9, 
1992. Prior to the rehabilitation of the bridge, there were three 
openings recorded in 1988. Since the rehabilitation was completed in 
1992, there have been no requests for openings.

Discussion of Proposed Amendments

    This proposal will amend 33 CFR 117.771 to require at least a 4 
hour advance notice be given to the bridge owner for openings of the 
Bruckner Boulevard Bridge, except between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., and 4 
p.m., and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the bridge need not open. 
The locations of the Bruckner Boulevard and Conrail Bridges are unclear 
in the existing regulation. This proposal correctly identifies the 
locations of the bridges as the Bronx, New York. The requirement that 
public vessels and vessels in distress be passed as soon as possible 
will be removed from section 117.771 since it is now a requirement 
under section 117.31 of the general operating regulations.

Regulatory Evaluation

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) 
of Executive Order 12866, and does not require an assessment of 
potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that order. It 
has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under that 
order. It is not significant under the regulatory policies and 
procedures of the Department of Transportation (DOT) (44 FR 11040; 
February 26, 1979). The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this 
rule to be so minimal that

[[Page 23410]]

a full Regulatory Evaluation, under paragraph 10e of the regulatory 
policies and procedures of DOT, is unnecessary. This conclusion is 
based on the fact that information from the bridge owner indicates that 
there have been no requests for openings since 1992. This rule will not 
prevent mariners from passing through the Bruckner Boulevard Bridge so 
long as they provide advance notice.

Small Entities

    The Coast Guard has considered the economic impact of this rule on 
small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.). For the reasons discussed in the Regulatory Evaluation above, 
the Coast Guard has determined that this rule will not affect a 
substantial number of small entities.

Collection of Information

    This rule contains no collection of information requirements under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).


    The Coast Guard has analyzed this rule in accordance with the 
principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 12612 and has 
determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism 
implications to warrant preparation of a Federalism Assessment.


    The Coast Guard considered the environmental impact of this rule 
and concluded that, under section 2.B.2.e.(32)(e) of Commandant 
Instruction M16475.1B, (as revised by 60 FR 32197, June 20, 1995), this 
rule promulgates operating regulations for drawbridges and is 
categorically excluded from further environmental documentation.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR part 117


Proposed Regulation

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes 
to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:


    1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as 

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 499; 49 CFR 1.46; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g); section 
117.255 also issued under the authority of Pub. L. 102-587, 106 
Stat. 5039.

    2. Section 117.771 is revised to read as follows:

Sec. 117.771  Bronx River.

    (a) The draw of the Bruckner Boulevard Bridge, mile 1.1, at the 
Bronx, New York, shall open on signal if at least 4 hours notice is 
given to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Radio 
Hotline, or NYCDOT Bridge Operations office, except that between 7 a.m. 
and 9 a.m., and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, the bridge 
need not be opened for the passage of vessels.
    (b) The draw of the Conrail Bridge, mile 1.6 at the Bronx, New 
York, need not be opened for the passage of vessels.
    (c) The owners of the Bruckner Boulevard Bridge, mile 1.1, and the 
Conrail Bridge, mile 1.6, both at the Bronx, New York, shall provide 
and keep in good legible condition two clearance gauges designed, 
installed and maintained in accordance with the provisions of 
Sec. 118.160 of this chapter.

    Dated: April 16, 1997.
J.L. Linnon,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard Commander, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 97-11211 Filed 4-29-97; 8:45 am]