33 CFR 207.187 - Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Tex.; special floodgate, lock and navigation regulations.
(a)Application. The regulations in this section shall apply to the operation of the Brazos River Floodgates and the Colorado River Locks at Mile 400.8 and Mile 441.5, respectively, west of Harvey Lock, La., on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and navigation of the tributary Colorado River Channel in the vicinity of said locks.
(b)Definitions. The term current means the velocity of flow of water in the river. It is expressed in statute miles per hour. The term “head differential” means the difference measured in feet between the water level in the river and that in the waterway when the floodgates or lock gates are closed. The term “Lockmaster” means the official in charge of the floodgates or locks.
(c)Operation of floodgates and locks -
(1)Unlimited passage. The floodgates and locks shall be opened for the passage of single vessels and towboats with single or multiple barges when the current in the river is less than 2 miles per hour and the head differential is less than 0.7 foot. When the head differential is less than 0.7, the Colorado River locks shall normally be operated as floodgates, using only the riverside gates of each lock.
(2)Limited passage. When the current in either river exceeds 2 miles per hour or the head differential at the Brazos River floodgates is between the limits of 0.7 foot and 1.8 feet, both inclusive, or the head differential at the Colorado River locks is 0.7 foot or greater, passage shall be afforded only for single vessels or towboats with single loaded barges or two empty barges. When two barges are rigidly assembled abreast of each other and the combined width of both together is 55 feet or less, they shall be considered as one barge. Each section of an integrated barge shall be considered as one barge, except when it is necessary to attach a rake section to a single box section to facilitate passage, the two sections shall be considered as one barge. It shall be the responsibility of the master, pilot or other person in charge of a vessel to determine whether a safe passage can be effected, give due consideration to the vessel's power and maneuverability, and prevailing current velocity, head differential, weather and visibility. If conditions are not favorable, passage shall be delayed until conditions improve and a safe crossing is assured.
(3)Gate closures. The Brazos River Floodgates shall be closed to navigation when the head differential exceeds 1.8 feet. The Colorado River Locks shall be closed to navigation when the current in the river exceeds a critical velocity as determined by the District Engineer, U.S. Army Engineer District, Galveston, Tex. The Brazos River Floodgates or the Colorado River Locks shall be closed to navigation when in the opinion of said District Engineer it is required for the protection of life and property, or it is to the advantage of the Government to permit uninterrupted emergency or maintenance operations, including dredging.
(4)Mooring facilities. Mooring facilities located on both banks of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway on the approaches to the floodgates and locks are for the mooring of vessels when the floodgates or locks are closed to navigation or tows are limited to single barges. Vessels awaiting passage shall be moored parallel to the bank and as close to the bank as possible. Barges shall be moored fore and aft with two lines, each to a separate mooring facility. Beaching of vessels in lieu of mooring them is prohibited. The mooring facilities are numbered and vessels making fast to them shall notify the Lockmaster giving the number of each facility being used.
(i)Radio. The floodgates and locks are equipped with short wave radio equipment transmitting and receiving on VHF - FM Channels 12, 13, 14 and 16. Call letters for the floodgates are WUI 411 and for the locks are WUI 412.
(ii)Telephone. The floodgates and locks are equipped with telephone facilities. The floodgates may be reached by phoning Freeport, Tx, 713-233-1251; the locks may be reached by phoning Matagorda, Tx, 713-863-7842.
(7)Arrival posts. Arrival posts 10 feet high and 10 inches in diameter have been established on the approaches to the locks and floodgates. They are painted with alternate horizontal bands of red and white 3 inches wide. Arrival at the floodgates or locks shall be determined as provided in paragraph (d)(4) of § 207.180.
(d)Navigation of the Colorado River Channel -
(i) Light and sound signals directed both upstream and downstream on the Colorado River are mounted on top of a galvanized skeleton steel tower 85 feet high located on the northeast point of land at the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway crossing of the river. They will be operated from the control house of the East Lock of the Colorado River Locks to direct the interchange of traffic in the Colorado River and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
(ii) Vessels navigating the Colorado River and desiring passage either upstream or downstream through the crossing, or into the crossing and through a lock into the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, shall give notice to the Lockmaster by two long and distinct blasts of a whistle or horn when within a distance of not more than one-half mile nor less than one-fourth mile from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway crossing. When the locks and the crossing are clear of vessels, the Lockmaster shall reply by two long and distinct blasts of a whistle or horn and display a green light from the signal tower indicating that the vessel in the river may proceed across the crossing or into the main stem of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway either eastbound or westbound. When there are vessels in the river crossing or in the locks, the Lockmaster shall reply by four or more short blasts of a whistle or horn (danger signal) and display a red light from the signal tower indicating the vessel in the river shall wait at least a quarter of a mile from the crossing for clearance. When the locks and crossing are clear of vessels, the lockmaster shall indicate to the waiting vessel by two long and distinct blasts of a whistle or horn and display of a green light from the signal tower indicating that the vessel may proceed across the crossing or into the main stem of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway either eastbound or westbound. During periods when the red light may be obscured by fog, mist, or rain, an audible signal consisting of a long blast followed by a short blast of a whistle or horn, repeated every 30 seconds, shall be sounded from the signal tower as an adjunct to the red light.
(2)Signs. Large signs with silver reflective background and stop sign red letters are erected one-fourth mile upstream and downstream from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway on the Colorado River. The legend states “DO NOT PROCEED BEYOND THIS POINT WHEN SIGNAL TOWER LIGHT IS RED.” These signs must be obeyed.
The foregoing regulations are supplementary to the regulations in § 207.180.