33 CFR § 117.467 - Lake Pontchartrain.

§ 117.467 Lake Pontchartrain.

(a) The south draw of the S11 bridge near New Orleans shall open on signal if at least 48 hours notice is given. In case of emergency, the draw shall open within 12 hours and shall be kept in condition for immediate operation until the emergency is over.

(b) The draw of the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge across Lake Pontchartrain, mile 4.80 near Slidell, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana shall be maintained as follows:

(1) The draw shall be maintained in the fully open-to-navigation position for vessels at all times, except during periods when it is closed for the passage of rail traffic or to perform periodic maintenance authorized in accordance with subpart A of this part.

(2) The draw shall be remotely operated by the drawtender at Norfolk Southern's drawbridge in Decatur, Alabama. The estimated duration that the bridge will remain closed for the passage of rail traffic is 10 to 15 minutes per operation.

(3) When a train approaches the bridge, the drawtender will initiate the bridge closing warning signal, consisting of radio calls via VHF-FM-channels 13 and 16 and activation of flashing red warning lights at each end of the span. The radio calls will be broadcast at five (5) minutes prior to bridge closing and at two (2) minutes prior to bridge closing. Photoelectric (infrared) boat detectors will monitor the waterway beneath the bridge for the presence of vessels.

(4) The drawtender will continuously monitor waterway traffic in the area using closed-circuit cameras mounted on the bridge. The draw will only be closed if the drawtender's visual inspection indicates that the channel is clear and there are no vessels transiting in the area. The drawtender will maintain constant surveillance of the navigation channel to ensure that no conflict with maritime traffic exists. Additionally, the draw will not be closed if the S11 bascule bridge that is located immediately west of the railroad bridge is in the open-to-navigation position. If two or more closed-circuit cameras are inoperable or if there is inclement weather, the draw will only be operated by a drawtender located on site at the bridge.

(5) At the end of the two-minute warning period, if no vessels have been detected by the drawtender, the draw closing sequence will automatically proceed.

(6) Upon passage of the train, the draw will be returned to the fully open-to-navigation position to allow marine traffic to pass. The warning lights will continue to flash red until the draw has returned to the fully open-to-navigation position at which time they will deactivate.

(7) After the passage of each train, the draw must be returned to its fully open-to-navigation position.

(8) To request openings of the draw when the bascule span is in the closed-to-navigation position, mariners may contact Norfolk Southern Railway via VHF-FM channel 13 or by telephone at the number displayed on the signs posted at the bridge.

(9) The draw will be operated locally if:

(i) Communication is lost between the drawbridge and the drawtender in Decatur, Alabama;

(ii) More than two closed-circuit cameras are not working;

(iii) The marine radio is inoperable;

(iv) Weather conditions warrant; or

(v) Ordered by the Coast Guard.

(c) The draw of the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission Causeway shall open on signal if at least three hours notice is given; except that, the draw need not be opened for the passage of vessels Monday through Friday except Federal holidays from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. The draw will open on signal for any vessel in distress or vessel waiting immediately following the closures listed above.

[CGD 82-025, 49 FR 17452, Apr. 24, 1984, as amended by CGD8-90-02, 55 FR 13522, Apr. 11, 1990; CGD08-01-022, 66 FR 56208, Nov. 7, 2001; USCG-2015-0814, 80 FR 81183, Dec. 29, 2015]