Drawbridge operations: Illinois,


[Federal Register: January 11, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 6)]

[Rules and Regulations]

[Page 1516-1517]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 117


RIN 2115-AE47

Temporary Drawbridge Regulation; Illinois Waterway, Illinois

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION: Temporary rule.

SUMMARY: The Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District is temporarily changing the regulation governing the McDonough Street Bridge, mile 287.3; Jefferson Street Bridge, mile 287.9; Cass Street Bridge, mile 288.1; Jackson Street Bridge, mile 288.4 and the Ruby Street Bridge, mile 288.7, Illinois Waterway. The drawbridges, with the exception of the Jefferson Street Bridge, will be allowed to remain closed to navigation from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, the drawbridges, save the Jefferson Street Bridge, will be allowed to remain closed to navigation from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. This temporary rule is issued to facilitate land traffic management while the Jefferson Street Bridge remains in the open-to-navigation position for emergency repairs.

DATES: This temporary rule is effective from 7:30 a.m. December 3, 1998 until 7:30 a.m. on February 1, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Unless otherwise indicated, documents referred to in this notice will be available for inspection and copying at room 2.107f in the Robert A. Young Federal Building at Director, Western Rivers Operations (ob), Eighth Coast Guard District, 1222 Spruce Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2832, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Roger K. Wiebusch, Bridge Administrator; Director, Western Rivers Operations, Eighth Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, 1222 Spruce Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2832, telephone 314-539-3900 extension 378.



On October 23, 1998, the Jefferson Street Bridge, mile 287.9, Illinois Waterway in Joliet, Illinois was struck and seriously damaged by a vessel. The allision requires the Jefferson Street bridge to remain in the open-to-navigation position until repairs are completed. It is estimated that it will take three months until the repairs are complete. The Jefferson Street Bridge is one of five bascule leaf drawbridges within Joliet that carry vehicular traffic across the Illinois Waterway. The current regulations permits the bridges to remain closed to navigation during commuter hours of 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Damage to the Jefferson Street Bridge prevents its use by highway traffic and has increased traffic levels on the other bridges and travel time between bridges. The temporary rule was requested by the Illinois Department of Transportation in order to accommodate the additional vehicular traffic that has been diverted to the four remaining operable bridges.

In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 533, a notice of proposed rulemaking has not been published and good cause exists for making this rule effective in less than 30 days from publication since the change has been implemented to address an emergency situation. Specifically, the extensive damage to the Jefferson Street Bridge caused by a vessel allision. Thus, following normal rule making procedures would be impractical. Delaying implementation of the regulation will not adversely impact navigation; however, it would result in unnecessary prolonged traffic management problems within the City of Joliet, Illinois.

Discussion of Temporary Rule

The five Joliet area drawbridges have a minimum vertical clearance of 16.5 feet above normal pool in the closed-to-navigation position. Navigation on the waterway consists primarily of commercial tows and recreational watercraft. Presently, the draws of all Illinois Waterway bridges within Joliet open on signal for passage of river

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traffic, except that they need not open from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday. This temporary drawbridge operation amendment has been coordinated with the commercial waterway operators who do not object. Extending the morning drawbridge closure period by 30 minutes during the week now until February 1, 1999, will not adversely impact navigation. It will, however, significantly facilitate traffic management in the City of Joliet.

Regulatory Evaluation

This temporary rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and does not require an assessment of potential cost 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 the rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10(e) is unnecessary. This is because river traffic will be extremely limited by lock closures and river ice during the period.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Coast Guard was required to consider whether this action will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. ``Small entities'' may include small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their field and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000.

The temporary rule only impacts vessel traffic for one half hour a day Monday through Friday during the late fall and winter months. This timeframe is a very inactive period for commercial navigation. Therefore, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b), that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Collection of Information

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


The Coast Guard has analyzed this temporary rule under the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 12612 and has determined that this temporary rule does not have sufficient implications for federalism to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. The authority to regulate the permits of bridges over the navigable waters of the U.S. belongs to the Coast Guard by Federal statutes.


The Coast Guard considered the environmental impact of this temporary rule and concluded that under Figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(a) of Commandant Instruction M16475.1C this temporary rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation. A ``Categorical Exclusion Determination'' is available in the docket for inspection or copying for inspection or copying where indicated under ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117


For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Coast Guard is amending part 117 of Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:


  1. the authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. Sec. 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. Effective 7:30 a.m. on December 3, 1998, through 7:29 a.m. on February 1, 1999, paragraph (c) of Sec. 117.393 is suspended and a new paragraph (e) is added to read as follows:

    Sec. 117.393 Illinois Waterway.

    * * * * *

    (c) The draws of the McDonough Street Bridge, mile 287.3; Cass Street Bridge, Mile 288.1; Jackson Street Bridge, mile 288.4 and the Ruby Street Bridge, mile 288.7; all of Joliet, shall open on signal, except that they need not open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturday the draws need not open from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

    Dated December 3, 1998. A.L. Gerfin, Jr., Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Commander, 8th Coast Guard Dist.

    [FR Doc. 99-388Filed1-8-99; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 4910-15-M