Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The Smith Point Bridge, across Narrow Bay, mile 6.1, between Smith Point and Fire Island, New York, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 16 feet at mean high water and 18 feet at mean low water. The drawbridge operation regulations are listed at 33 CFR 117.799(d).
The waterway users are recreational vessels of various sizes.
The owner of the bridge, Suffolk County Department of Public Works, requested a temporary deviation from the regulations to facilitate bridge rehabilitation, repairs to the bascule spans. During the bridge repairs only one moveable span will be opened for the passage of vessel traffic.
The main navigation channel provides 55 feet of horizontal clearance with unobstructed vertical clearance during a bridge opening.
During this temporary deviation the main channel will only provide 27.5 feet of horizontal clearance with unobstructed vertical clearance during a bridge opening.
The Coast Guard believes that this temporary deviation should meet the reasonable needs of navigation because the recreational users that normally use this bridge are recreational vessels that can safely pass through a 27.5 foot horizontal clearance due to their relative small size. In addition, most of the above recreational vessels do not operate during the fall and winter months when this deviation will be in effect.
Under this temporary deviation the Smith Point Bridge may open only one of the two moveable spans for the passage of vessel traffic between September 26, 2011 and December 21, 2011.
Vessels that can pass under the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time.
In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the bridge must return to its regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the designated time period. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.