Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
BNSF Railway has requested that the draw of the BNSF Railway Bridge across the Lake Washington Ship Canal, mile 0.1 (Ballard-Salmon Bay), be locked in the closed position and not be required to open for the passage of vessels for a 12 day period to facilitate heavy maintenance on the bridge. The bridge provides 43 feet of vertical clearance above mean high water while in the closed position. Under normal operations this bridge opens on signal as required by 33 CFR 117.5 and 33 CFR 117.1051(c). The deviation period is from 7 a.m. November 7, 2012 through 5 p.m. November 18, 2012. This deviation allows the draw span of the BNSF Railway Bridge across the Lake Washington Ship Canal, mile 0.1, to remain in the closed position and to not open for maritime traffic from 7 a.m. November 7, 2012 through 5 p.m. November 18, 2012. This time frame was selected because it corresponds with the closure of the Army Corps of Engineering Hiram M. Chittenden lock immediately upstream or inland of the bridge on the Lake Washington Ship Canal. This stretch of the Lake Washington Ship Canal experiences heavy waterway usage and is utilized by vessels ranging from commercial tug and barge to pleasure craft. Mariners have been notified and will be kept informed of the bridge's operational status via the Coast Guard Notice to Mariners publication and Broadcast Notice to Mariners as appropriate. Vessels which do not require a bridge opening may continue to transit beneath the bridge during this closure period. Due to the nature of work being performed the draw span will be unable to open for maritime traffic during this maintenance period.
In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridges must return to their 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.