PORTSMOUTH -- A new, temporaryschedule for lifts at the Berkley Bridge will take effect Wednesday, March 10.
The 5th Coast Guard District commanderissued a temporary deviation Wednesday based on comments received following the first schedule change last October.
Currently, thebridge willopen on signal at anytime for vessels carrying hazardous cargo. It will also open for vessels with a draft of 18-feet or more, provided a six hour advance notice has been given.
Beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 10 through September 3, the drawbridge will continue to open to vessels requesting passage at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
If the bridge is not opened during a particular scheduled opening at those times,a mariner can make arrangements for a delayed opening up to 30 minutes past that scheduled opening time for that signaling mariner, except at 2:30 p.m. At 2:30 p.m., the draw tender may provide a single opening up to 20 minutes after that time. A vessel may make prior arrangements for a delayed opening by contacting the Berkley Bridge traffic control room.
Previously, a delay could not be requested
The new changes will allow the bridge to open on signal at anytime for vessels carrying hazardous cargo. It will also open for vessels with a draft of 18-feet or more, provided a six hour advance notice has been given.
'Based on comments received and the consultation between VDOT and the maritime community, the changes will benefit the community and provide a reasonable balance between maritime priority and road-based transportation,' said Waverly Gregory, bridge admistrator for the 5th Coast Guard District.
Written comments on the proposal must be submitted on or before July 1, 2010.
For more information contact Bridge Administrator Gregory Waverly at (757) 398-6222 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.