[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 224 (Wednesday, November 24, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 66988-66990]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-25638]



Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 117

[Docket No. USCG-2021-0778]
RIN 1625-AA09

Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Willamette River, Portland, OR

AGENCY: Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.


SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to modify the operating schedule that 
governs the Morrison Bridge across the Willamette River, mile 12.8, at 
Portland, OR. Multnomah County, Oregon, the bridge owner, is requesting 
to change the current regulation to allow painting and preservation of 
the Morrison Bridge including the double bascule span. The modified 
rule would change from a full span opening to a single leaf, half 
opening, and operation. We invite your comments on this proposed 

DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or 
before December 27, 2021. The Coast Guard anticipates that this 
proposed rule will be effective from 7 p.m. on April 1, 2022, through 7 
p.m. on May 31, 2023.

ADDRESSES:  You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2021-0778 using Federal Decision Making Portal at https://www.regulations.gov. See the ``Public Participation and Request for 
Comments'' portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for 
instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this proposed 
rule, call or email Steven Fischer, Thirteenth District Bridge 
Administrator, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 206-220-7282, email [email protected].


I. Table of Abbreviations

CFR Code of Federal Regulations
DHS Department of Homeland Security
FR Federal Register
OMB Office of Management and Budget
NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking (Advance, Supplemental)
Sec.  Section
U.S.C. United States Code
County Multnomah County

II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

    Multnomah County, Oregon, owns and operates the Morrison Bridge 
across the Willamette River at mile 12.8. The County is requesting a 
temporary change to the existing operating regulation. The County is 
proposing to open the Morrison Bridge's span in single leaf mode, half 
of the double bascule span, to marine vessels with a minimum of two-
hour notice, or four-hour notice if a tug assist is needed. The County 
needs to maintain half of the draw closed to allow for preservation and 
paint efforts. The proposed regulation change would allow the Morrison 
Bridge to alternate operation of the east or west leaf span from April 
1, 2022, through May 31, 2023. The west span will be operational at the 
beginning of construction and the east span will be closed to 
navigation. The dates to switch operational spans will be determined 
later and published in the Local and Broadcast Notice to Mariners. This 
proposal also allows a containment system under the bridge that reduces 
the non-opening half of the bridge's vertical clearance by 5 feet from 
69 feet center to 64 feet, and from 48 feet on the sides to 43 feet 
above the Columbia River Datum 0.0. Marine traffic on this section of 
the Willamette River consists of vessels ranging from small pleasure 
craft up to large commercial vessels and barges. The subject bridge 
currently operates in accordance with 33 CFR 117.897(c)(3)(iv).

III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The Coast Guard proposes a temporary change to 33 CFR 
117.897(c)(3)(iv) to be in effect from 7 p.m. on 1 April, 2022, through 
7 p.m. on 31 May, 2023. This temporary rule will suspend the current 
regulatory cite regarding the Morrison Bridge, and add a temporary 33 
CFR 117.897(c)(3)(vi) which will amend the operating schedule of the 
Morrison Bridge by requiring a two-hour notice, or four-hour notice 
with tug assist, for all draw openings, and alternate the operation of 
the double bascule spans to single span which will reduce the 
horizontal clearances of the bridge. The temporary rule is necessary to 
accommodate preservation and painting of the Morrison Bridge. This 
bridge provides a vertical clearance approximately 69 feet, at the 
center, above Columbia River Datum 0.0 when in the closed-to-navigation 
position. One half of the bascule bridge will have a containment system 
installed on the non-opening half of the span, which will reduce the 
vertical clearance by 5 feet to 64 feet center and 43 feet on the 
sides. A tug will be available for assists to mariners as needed when a 
request is given with a notice of four hours for an opening. The 
horizontal clearance with a full opening is 185 feet, therefore, in 
single leaf operations, a temporary rule change will reduced the 
horizontal clearance to approximately 90 feet. Vessels able to transit 
under the Morrison Bridge without an opening may do so at any time. 
Marine vessels are advised to be aware of fall hazards. This section of 
the Willamette River has no alternate routes. During the Portland Rose 
Festival, both leafs of the double bascule span will be fully 
operational. If any mariner submits a full opening request to the 
County prior to construction beginning, a full opening can be 
scheduled. All marine emergency vessels can navigate under the Morrison 
Bridge without an opening, and therefore do not need to contact the 
Hawthorne Bridge for an emergency opening.
    This regulatory action determination is based on the ability of the 
Morrison Bridge to open on signal after the Hawthorne Bridge, at 
Willamette River mile 13.1, has received at least a two-hour notice, or 
four-hour notice for tug assist, by telephone at 503-988-3452 or VHF 
radio request. The Coast Guard has made this finding based on the fact 
that the proposed change allows any vessel needing a drawbridge opening 
to transit through the Morrison Bridge after providing adequate notice 
and being provided with tug assistance if required.

[[Page 66989]]

IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes 
and Executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our 
analyses based on these statutes and Executive orders and we discuss 
First Amendment rights of protestors.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits. This NPRM has not been designated a ``significant 
regulatory action,'' under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM 
has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
    This regulatory action determination is based on the ability that 
vessels can still transit the bridge given advance notice.

B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as 
amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of 
regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term ``small 
entities'' comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations 
that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their 
fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 
50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this 
proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.
    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the 
bridge may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A 
above this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact 
on any vessel owner or operator.
    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental 
jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have 
a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see 
ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what 
degree this rule would economically affect it.
    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement 
Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small 
entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect 
your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you 
have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, 
please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that 
question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action 
of the Coast Guard.

C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.).

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132 
(Federalism), if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on 
the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on 
the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels 
of government. We have analyzed this proposed rule under that order and 
have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism 
principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 
    Also, this proposed rule does not have tribal implications under 
Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal 
Governments) because it would not have a substantial direct effect on 
one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal 
Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If 
you believe this proposed rule has implications for federalism or 
Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER 

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) 
requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary 
regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may 
result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for 
inflation) or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule will not 
result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this 
proposed rule elsewhere in this preamble.

F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security 
Management Directive 023-01, Rev.1, associated implementing 
instructions, and Environmental Planning Policy COMDTINST 5090.1 
(series), which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f). The 
Coast Guard has determined that this action is one of a category of 
actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant 
effect on the human environment. This proposed rule promulgates the 
operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. Normally such 
actions are categorically excluded from further review, under paragraph 
L49, of Chapter 3, Table3-1 of the U.S. Coast Guard Environmental 
Planning Implementation Procedures.
    Neither a Record of Environmental Consideration nor a Memorandum 
for the Record are required for this rule. We seek any comments or 
information that may lead to the discovery of a significant 
environmental impact from this proposed rule.

G. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. 
Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that 
your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or 
security of people, places or vessels.

V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, 
and will consider all comments and material received during the comment 
period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If 
you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which 
each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or 
    Submitting comments. We encourage you to submit comments through 
the Federal Decision Making Portal at https://www.regulations.gov. To 
do so, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2021-0778 in the 
search box and click ``Search.'' Next, look for this document in the 
Search Results column, and click on it. Then click on the Comment 
option. If your material cannot be submitted using https://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.
    Viewing material in docket. To view documents mentioned in this 
proposed rule as being available in the docket, find the docket as 
described in the

[[Page 66990]]

previous paragraph, and then select ``Supporting & Related Material'' 
in the Document Type column. Public comments will also be placed in our 
online docket and can be viewed by following instructions on the 
https://www.regulations.gov Frequently Asked Questions web page. We 
review all comments received, but we will only post comments that 
address the topic of the proposed rule. We may choose not to post off-
topic, inappropriate, or duplicate comments that we receive.
    Personal information. We accept anonymous comments. Comments we 
post to https://www.regulations.gov will include any personal 
information you have provided. For more about privacy and submissions 
in response to this document, see DHS's eRulemaking System of Records 
notice (85 FR 14226, March 11, 2020).

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117


    For the reasons discussed 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 follows:

    Authority:  33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; and Department of 
Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

2. In Sec.  117.897, stay paragraph (c)(3)(iv) and add paragraph 
(c)(3)(vi) to read as follows.

Sec.  117.897  Willamette River.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (vi) Morrison Bridge, Portland, mile 12.8, will operate a single 
leaf opening, on signal after the Hawthorne Bridge, at Willamette River 
mile 13.1, has received, at least a two-hour advance notice, or four-
hour advance notice for tug assist, to open by telephone at 503-988-
3452 or VHF radio.

    Dated: November 18, 2021.
M.W. Bouboulis,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Thirteenth Coast Guard 
[FR Doc. 2021-25638 Filed 11-23-21; 8:45 am]