Bridge Alteration

To accomplish alteration of obstructive bridges to render navigation through or under it reasonably free, easy, and unobstructed for the benefit of navigation.

In accordance with the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1996, permanent authority exists in 49 U.S.C.

104(e) to transfer funds
from the Federal-Aid Highways discretionary bridge program to the Coast Guard to finance alteration of Truman-Hobbs obstructive highway bridges.
Examples of Funded Projects

1.

Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge over the Willamette River, Portland, Oregon.

2.

CSX Transportation Company Bridge over the East Pascagoula River, Pascagoula, Mississippi.

3.

Trent River Railroad Bridge, New Bern, North Carolina.

4.

Norfolk and Southern Railroad Bridge over the Mississippi River, Hannibal, Missouri.

5.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge over the Mississippi River, Burlington, Iowa.

6.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company Bridge over the Mississippi River, Fort Madison, Iowa.

7.

Georgia DOT Sidney Lanier Bridge over the Burnswick River, Burnswick, Georgia.

8.

Florida Avenue Bridge across the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal, New Orleans, Louisiana.

9.

Boston City Bridge over Chelsea river, Boston, Massachusetts.

10.

South Carolina DOT Limehouse Bridge over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Charleston, South Carolina.

11.

U.S.

Navy Reserve Basin Bridge, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

12.

EJ&E Railroad Company Bridge over the Illinois Waterway, Divine, Illinois.

13.

CSX Transportation Company Bridge over the Mobile River, Hurricane, Alabama.


Agency - Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security has three primary missions: Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism and minimize the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters.

Office - District Bridge Administrators in each district are the local points of contact.

Coast Guard District Offices.

First Coast Guard District (obr): Mr. John McDonald (obr), 408 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA 02210-2209.

Telephone: (617) 223-8364.

Fax: (617) 223-8026.

Gary Kassof (obr), Battery Park Bldg., New York, NY 10004-5073.

Telephone: (212) 668-7165.

Fax: (212) 668-7967.

Western River Directorate (obr), Roger Wiebusch, 1222 Spruce St., St.

Louis, MO 63103-2398.

Telephone: (314) 539-3900.

Fax: 314-539-3755.

Fifth Coast Guard District (Aowb) Ann Deaton, Federal Building, 431 Crawford St., Portsmouth, VA 23704-5004.

Telephone: (757) 398-6557.

Fax: (757) 398-6334.

Seventh Coast Guard District (oan) Gregg Shapley, Brickell Plaza, 909 SE.

1st Ave., Miami, FL 33130-3050.

Telephone: (305) 415-6743.

Fax: (305) 415-6757.

Eighth Coast Guard District (obc) Marcus Redford, Hale Boggs Federal Bldg., 501 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130-3396.

Telephone: (504) 589-2965.

Fax: (504) 589-3063.

Ninth Coast Guard District (obr) Bob Bloom, 1240 East 9th St., Cleveland, OH 44199-2060.

Telephone: (216) 902-6085.

Fax: (216) 902-6088.

Eleventh Coast Guard.

District (oan-2), David Sulouff Bldg.

10, Rm.

50-6, Alameda, CA 94501-5100.

Telephone (510) 437-3514.

Fax: (510) 437-5836.

Thirteenth Coast Guard District (ob), John Mikesell Federal Bldg., 915 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98174-1067.

Telephone: (206) 220-7270.

Fax: (206) 220-7285.

Fourteenth Coast Guard District (oan), CDR Thomas Hooper Federal Bldg., 300 Ala Moana Blvd., Rm.

9139, Honolulu, HI 96850-4982.

Telephone: (808) 541-2315.

Fax: (808) 541-2318.

Seventeenth Coast Guard District (oan) Jim Helfinstine, P.O.

Box 25517, Juneau, AK 99802-5517.

Telephone: (907) 463-2268.

Fax: (907) 463-2273.
Website Address

http://www.dhs.gov



Program Accomplishments

The Coast Guard has completed 27 bridge alteration projects at a total cost of $193 million to the Government. At present, 9 projects located in Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Illinois, Alabama, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania are under design and construction. The majority of the above projects are railroad bridges with a small number of highway bridges.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds are reimbursed to bridge owner to cover payments of the Government's share for work performed in altering the obstructive bridge in accordance with the approved general plans and specifications.

All changes to plans and specifications need prior approval of the Coast Guard before reimbursement of expenditure can be authorized.

Costs of alteration attributable to the following are ineligible: (1) direct and special benefits which will accrue to the bridge owner as a result of the alteration, (2) the expectable savings in repair or maintenance costs, (3) requirements of traffic by railroad or highway or both, (4) increasing carrying capacity, (5) portion of the actual capital cost of the old bridge or such part of the old bridge as may be altered or changed or rebuilt as the used service life of the whole or a part, as the case may be, bears to the total estimated service life of the whole or such part: Provided, that the part of the cost of alteration of any bridge for both highway and railroad traffic, attributable to the requirements of traffic by highway, shall be borne by the proprietor of the highway.

(6) Provided further, that in the event the alteration or relocation of any bridge may be desirable for the reason that the bridge unreasonably obstructs navigation, but also for some other reason, the Secretary may require equitable contribution from any interested person, firm, association, corporation, municipality, county, or State desiring such alteration or relocation for such other reason, as a condition precedent to the making of an order for such alteration or relocation.

The United States shall bear the balance of the cost, including that part attributable to the necessities of navigation.

Bridge alteration and relocation actions must comply with the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (Public Law 91-190), as amended; the CEQ Regulations (40 CFR 1500-1508) which implements NEPA; Executive Order 11514, as amended, Protection and Enhancement of Environmental Quality; DOT Order 5610.1C, Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts, and COMDTINST M16475.1C, NEPA Implementing Procedures.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

(1) Any State, county, municipality, or other political subdivision or any corporation, association, partnership, or individual owning or jointly owning any lawful bridge over navigable waters of the United States which is used and operated for the purpose of carrying railroad traffic, or both railroad and highway traffic, or (2) Any State, county, municipality, or other political subdivision owning or jointly owning any lawful bridge over the navigable waters of the United States which is used and operated for the purpose of carrying highway traffic.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Navigation, maritime transportation interests, commercial and recreational boating public, marine traffic, ports, bridge owners, land transportation, and general local public.

Credentials/Documentation

A bridge must be determined to unreasonably obstruct navigation. This determination is made by the Coast Guard after conducting an investigation and determining that the navigational benefits that would accrue as a result of altering the bridge equal or exceed the cost of alteration.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

An applicant should contact the Coast Guard District bridge staff or Headquarters bridge staff for information as to what is necessary to support his/her complaint that a bridge is unreasonably obstructive to navigation.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his/her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

A formal written complaint stating that a bridge is unreasonably obstructive is made to the appropriate Coast Guard District Commander who determines through informal discussions with the complainant, waterway users, other interested parties, whether or not a preliminary investigation is required. Impediments to highway or railway are not valid complaints. In some cases, based on the accident history of a bridge alone, a preliminary investigation may be initiated by the District Commander. Computing benefits is not a responsibility of the complainant, it is a Coast Guard responsibility. Environmental considerations also do not enter into consideration for determining whether or not a bridge is unreasonably obstructive.

Award Procedures

When preliminary investigation of the District Commander indicates sufficient benefits to navigation are not readily available to at least justify a detailed investigation, the District Commander informs the complainant that there is no sufficient evidence to warrant further investigation and closes the case. However, when the preliminary investigation indicates that the bridge may be unreasonably obstructive, the District Commander undertakes a detailed investigation with the approval of the Commandant (G-OPT). The Coast Guard District holds a public hearing to determine the facts upon which a firm decision to alter or not alter is made. The detailed investigation is reviewed by the Commandant, if the navigational benefit equals to or is greater than the cost of the bridge alteration, then the bridge is declared unreasonably obstructive to navigation and therefore, becomes eligible for Federal funding under the Truman-Hobbs Act. For additional details refer to 33 CFR 116.

Deadlines

None.

Authorization

Rivers and Harbors Appropriations Act of 1899, Section 18, 30 Stat. 1153, 33 U.S.C. 502; Bridge Act of 1906, Sections 4 and 5, 34 Stat. 85, 33 U.S.C. 494, 495; Act of June 21, 1940, as amended; Truman-Hobbs Act, 54 Stat. 497, 33 U.S.C. 511-523.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

1. Within six months from the start of the preliminary investigation, if sufficient costs to navigation are not readily available to justify a detailed investigation, the case is closed out by the District Commander. 2. Extension of time beyond the six months may be allowed provided a quarterly progress report is forwarded to the Commandant. 3. Final investigation report including the benefit and cost ratio which becomes the basis for the determination to declare the bridge an unreasonable obstruction to navigation is completed within a 3-year period from the date of initial complaint.

Appeals

Within 60 days of the District Commander's decision that the case is closed, an appeal must be submitted in writing to the U. S. Coast Guard Directorate of Operations Policy (G-OP), 2100 Second Street, SW., Washington, DC 20593-0001. Commandant will take action on the appeal within 90 days of the receipt of the appeal.

Renewals

The case may be reopened at any time if changes in navigation occur or additional information is provided.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

The general statutory procedures which serve as the basis of determining the proportionate shares of the total cost of the project to be borne by the United States and by the bridge owner is described in the Act of June 21, 1940, as amended (Truman-Hobbs Act)(54 Stat. 497, 33 U.S.C. 516). The general procedure and statutory requirements are also listed in 33 CFR 116.30. In the event the alteration or relocation of any bridge may be desirable for reasons that the bridge unreasonably obstructs navigation, but also for some other reasons, equitable contribution from any interested person, firm, association, corporation, municipality, county, or State desiring such alteration or relocation as a condition precedent to making an order for alteration or relocation. The United States bears the balance of the cost including that part attributable to the necessities of navigation.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

There is no restriction placed on the time period over which the payment of the total share of the United States is made except the time period should be reasonable. This time period is determined by the Commandant. After approving the general plans and specifications for the alteration of such bridge, the guarantee of the owner not to exceed the total project cost, the fixing of proportionate shares of the United States and the owner, out of the funds appropriated by Congress, reimbursement or payment to the bridge owner begins on such construction costs as the work progresses and upon receipt of the certification of completion.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Monthly progress reports of design and construction.

Monthly bills indicating payment has been made so that reimbursement can be made.

Audits

DOT Audit is made at the completion of the alteration and final payment of the last bill and to ensure that funds have been applied to the project efficiently, economically, effectively and no overcharges have been made to the project. The audit procedure mandated for the program is the IG Act of 1978, as amended, and DOT Order No. 2900.

Records

The bridge owner is required to maintain all financial records, bills and payments, in-house force account records, time and attendance, contract documents, final acceptance of the project, and receipt of all payments.

Financial Information

Account Identification

70-0614-0-1-403.

Obigations

(Direct Payments) FY 07 $16,029,044; FY 08 est $16,400,000; FY 09 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In previous fiscals years, when payments were issued, the range of financial assistance was $14,740,000 to $42,800,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

33 CFR 116, Truman-Hobbs Act, 33 U.S.C. 511-523, Commandant Instruction M16590.5-Chapter 6. These documents are available in the Bridge Administration Division of the U. S. Coast Guard, 2100 Second Street, SW., Washington, DC 20593-0001.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

District Bridge Administrators in each district are the local points of contact. Coast Guard District Offices. First Coast Guard District (obr): Mr. John McDonald (obr), 408 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA 02210-2209. Telephone: (617) 223-8364. Fax: (617) 223-8026. Gary Kassof (obr), Battery Park Bldg., New York, NY 10004-5073. Telephone: (212) 668-7165. Fax: (212) 668-7967. Western River Directorate (obr), Roger Wiebusch, 1222 Spruce St., St. Louis, MO 63103-2398. Telephone: (314) 539-3900. Fax: 314-539-3755. Fifth Coast Guard District (Aowb) Ann Deaton, Federal Building, 431 Crawford St., Portsmouth, VA 23704-5004. Telephone: (757) 398-6557. Fax: (757) 398-6334. Seventh Coast Guard District (oan) Gregg Shapley, Brickell Plaza, 909 SE. 1st Ave., Miami, FL 33130-3050. Telephone: (305) 415-6743. Fax: (305) 415-6757. Eighth Coast Guard District (obc) Marcus Redford, Hale Boggs Federal Bldg., 501 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130-3396. Telephone: (504) 589-2965. Fax: (504) 589-3063. Ninth Coast Guard District (obr) Bob Bloom, 1240 East 9th St., Cleveland, OH 44199-2060. Telephone: (216) 902-6085. Fax: (216) 902-6088. Eleventh Coast Guard. District (oan-2), David Sulouff Bldg. 10, Rm. 50-6, Alameda, CA 94501-5100. Telephone (510) 437-3514. Fax: (510) 437-5836. Thirteenth Coast Guard District (ob), John Mikesell Federal Bldg., 915 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98174-1067. Telephone: (206) 220-7270. Fax: (206) 220-7285. Fourteenth Coast Guard District (oan), CDR Thomas Hooper Federal Bldg., 300 Ala Moana Blvd., Rm. 9139, Honolulu, HI 96850-4982. Telephone: (808) 541-2315. Fax: (808) 541-2318. Seventeenth Coast Guard District (oan) Jim Helfinstine, P.O. Box 25517, Juneau, AK 99802-5517. Telephone: (907) 463-2268. Fax: (907) 463-2273.

Headquarters Office

Department of Homeland Security, 245 Murray Drive, SW., Washington, D.C. 20528. Telephone: (202) 282-8000.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The selection criteria are primarily based on the benefit to navigation and the cost of alteration of the obstructive bridge. The following Criteria are used to determine if a bridge is obstructive under the Truman Hobbs Act: The District Commander receives complaints that a bridge is obstructive to navigation, or he can initiate an investigation because of numerous accidents. Through informal discussions with the complainant and other affected and or concerned parties, if sufficient information is available, the District Commander may formulate an opinion on whether or not the bridge in question is an unreasonable obstruction to navigation. If the District Commander determines that further investigation is not warranted, the District Commander informs the complainant there is not enough evidence to warrant an investigation and takes no further action. If the District Commander concludes that the bridge could be an unreasonable obstruction to navigation, the District Commander conducts a Preliminary Investigation, which involves: analyzing the existing bridge to determine if the navigational clearances are restrictive and to what extent; describing the waterway in the vicinity of the bridge (with charts of the area) for the record to establish, area and location of bridge in question, and any naturally occurring aspects of the environment which may impact navigation; collecting data on bridge openings to establish amount of use, accidents attributed to restrictive navigational clearances and not pilot error, all costs associated with accidents as described above, and other costs associated with the need to alter for the benefit of navigation (i.e., the cost of double tripping); computing the navigation benefits; and recommending a course of action. A Preliminary Investigation Report is sent to the Commandant for review. If the Commandant determines that the bridge is not an unreasonable obstruction to navigation, the Commandant then notifies the District Commander that the bridge does not qualify for alteration under the Truman-Hobbs Act and no further action is required. The case may be reopened if changes in navigation occur. If the Commandant determines that the bridge may be an unreasonable obstruction to navigation, the Commandant then directs the District Commander to conduct a detailed investigation. The purpose of the investigation is to gather additional facts to determine if the bridge is indeed an unreasonable obstruction to navigation, what clearances are needed, and any other circumstances that need disclosing. The District Commander forwards a Detailed Investigation Report to the Commandant. The report contains detailed information and substantiated data collected during the investigation in support of the recommendation. The Commandant reviews the Detailed Investigation Report and conducts a Benefit/Cost Analysis. The Commandant then determines if the benefit to navigation which will result from the alteration is at least equal to the cost of making the bridge alterations. If the benefit does not at least equal the cost then the bridge can not be altered under the Truman-Hobbs Act. The Navigation Benefit is used to calculate the Benefit-to Cost Ratio (B/C). The B/C will be used to determine eligibility under the Truman-Hobbs Act and to justify for funding before Congress. The Navigational Benefits generally will be calculated in three categories, namely: (1) Vessels delays resulting from limited clearances of the bridge (or Transit Time Savings, resulting from a reduction in transit time and thus operating expenses in clearing the bridge zone); (2) Collision damage resulting from accidents caused by the limited clearance of the bridge (or Water Accident Reduction Savings, due to elimination/reduction of future damages to the bridge, fenders, and vessels); and (3) Certain other savings have been eliminated. Examples of these savings are elimination of a need forextrapilots, crew, and tugs; elimination of environmental delays such as tide, wind, currents darkness, visibility directly attributable to the limited clearance of the bridge itself; and increase in trips, because the restrictive bridge clearance that had heretofore prohibited the use of larger barge and/or tows. The Benefit-to-Cost Ratio is computed and is the indicator to determine if a bridge is an unreasonable obstruction to navigation alterable under the Truman-Hobbs Act. If the Commandant concludes that the bridge does not qualify for alteration under the Truman-Hobbs Act, the Commandant notifies the District Commander that the bridge does not qualify and no further action is required. However the case may be reopened with additional information if the Commandant determines that the bridge is an unreasonable obstruction to navigation, and qualifies for alteration under the Truman-Hobbs Act. The Commandant notifies the District Commander to inform the bridge owner of the required changes. The bridge owner is given 60 days to reply. When the reply is received or when the 60 days are up, the Commandant issues the order to alter. The District Commander prioritizes investigations of possible obstructive bridges based upon a variety of relevant factors. The factors taken into account are type of bridge, location of bridge, cross current, accident history of the bridge, traffic density, duration of channel blockage and time to reopen, severity of damage resulting from accidents, type and amount of cargo transiting through the bridge, risk of the bridge being hit and savings due to avoidance of collision risk, economic impact to navigation industry, possible environmental consequences that may result from an accident and benefits to navigation. Priorities are continuously reviewed and updated by bridge division at Headquarters. Inter-district priority for the alteration of bridges is established by Headquarters. Priority is based on the severity of impacts attributable to each bridge. Priorities are updated as new bridges come to the District Commander's attention and as new information becomes available that require changes in priorities.



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