|FEDERAL-AID POLICY GUIDE
December 7, 1994, Transmittal 12
|23 CFR 650H
SUBCHAPTER G - ENGINEERING AND TRAFFIC OPERATIONS
PART 650 - BRIDGES, STRUCTURES, AND HYDRAULICS
Subpart H - Navigational Clearances for Bridges
650.805 Bridges not requiring a USCG permit.
650.807 Bridges requiring a USCG permit.
650.809 Movable span bridges.
Authority: 23 U.S.C. 109 (a) and (h), 144, 151, 315, and 319; 23 CFR 1.32; 49 CFR 1.48(b), E.O. 11988 (3 CFR, 1977 Comp. p. 117); Department of Transportation Order 5650.2 dated April 23, 1979 (44 FR 24678); section 161 of Public Law 97-424, 96 Stat. 2097, 3135; section 4(b) of Public Law 97-134, 95 Stat. 1699; and 33 U.S.C. 401, 491 et seq., 511 et seq.; and section 1057 of Public Law 102-240, 105 Stat. 2002.
[59 FR 37935, July 26, 1994]
SOURCE: 52 FR 28139, July 28, 1987, unless otherwise noted.
Sec. 650.801 Purpose.
The purpose of this regulation is to establish policy and to set forth coordination procedures for Federal-aid highway bridges which require navigational clearances.
Sec. 650.803 Policy.
It is the policy of FHWA:
(a) To provide clearances which meet the reasonable needs of navigation and provide for cost-effective highway operations,
(b) To provide fixed bridges wherever practicable, and
(c) To consider appropriate pier protection and vehicular protective and warning systems on bridges subject to ship collisions.
Sec. 650.805 Bridges not requiring a USCG permit.
(a) The FHWA has the responsibility under 23 U.S.C. 144(h) to determine that a USCG permit is not required for bridge construction. This determination shall be made at an early stage of project development so that any necessary coordination can be accomplished during environmental processing.
(b) A USCG permit shall not be required if the FHWA determines that the proposed construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of the federally aided or assisted bridge is over waters (1) which are not used or are not susceptible to use in their natural condition or by reasonable improvement as a means to transport interstate or foreign commerce and (2) which are (i) not tidal, or (ii) if tidal, used only by recreational boating, fishing, and other small vessels less than 21 feet in length.
(c) The highway agency (HA) shall assess the need for a USCG permit or navigation lights or signals for proposed bridges. The HA shall consult the appropriate District Offices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers if the susceptibility to improvement for navigation of the water of concern is unknown and shall consult the USCG if the types of vessels using the waterway are unknown.
(d) For bridge crossings of waterways with navigational traffic where the HA believes that a USCG permit may not be required, the HA shall provide supporting information early in the environmental analysis stage of project development to enable the FHWA to make a determination that a USCG permit is not required and that proposed navigational clearances are reasonable.
(e) Since construction in waters exempt from a USCG permit may be subject to other USCG authorizations, such as approval of navigation lights and signals and timely notice to local mariners of waterway changes, the USCG should be notified whenever the proposed action may substantially affect local navigation.
Sec. 650.807 Bridges requiring a USCG permit.
(a) The USCG has the responsibility (1) to determine whether a USCG permit is required for the improvement or construction of a bridge over navigable waters except for the exemption exercised by FHWA in Sec. 650.805 and (2) to approve the bridge location, alignment and appropriate navigational clearances in all bridge permit applications.
(b) A USCG permit shall be required when a bridge crosses waters which are: (1) tidal and used by recreational boating, fishing, and other small vessels 21 feet or greater in length or (2) used or susceptible to use in their natural condition or by reasonable improvement as a means to transport interstate or foreign commerce. If it is determined that a USCG permit is required, the project shall be processed in accordance with the following procedures.
(c) The HA shall initiate coordination with the USCG at an early stage of project development and provide opportunity for the USCG to be involved throughout the environmental review process in accordance with 23 CFR Part 771. The FHWA and Coast Guard have developed internal guidelines which set forth coordination procedures that both agencies have found useful in streamlining and expediting the permit approval process. These guidelines include (1) USCG/FHWA Procedures for Handling Projects which Require a USCG Permit(1) and (2) the USCG/FHWA Memorandum of Understanding on Coordinating The Preparation and Processing of Environmental Projects.(2)
(d) The HA shall accomplish sufficient preliminary design and consultation during the environmental phase of project development to investigate bridge concepts, including the feasibility of any proposed movable bridges, the horizontal and vertical clearances that may be required, and other location considerations which may affect navigation. At least one fixed bridge alternative shall be included with any proposal for a movable bridge to provide a comparative analysis of engineering, social, economic and environmental benefit and impacts.
(e) The HA shall consider hydraulic, safety, environmental and navigational needs along with highway costs when designing a proposed navigable waterway crossing.
(f) For bridges where the risk of ship collision is significant, HA's shall consider, in addition to USCG requirements, the need for pier protection and warning systems as outlined in FHWA Technical Advisory 5140.19, Pier Protection and Warning Systems for Bridges Subject to Ship Collisions, dated February 11, 1983.
(g) Special navigational clearances shall normally not be provided for accommodation of floating construction equipment of any type that is not required for navigation channel maintenance. If the navigational clearances are influenced by the needs of such equipment, the USCG should be consulted to determine the appropriate clearances to be provided.
(h) For projects which require FHWA approval of plans, specifications and estimates, preliminary bridge plans shall be approved at the appropriate level by FHWA for structural concepts, hydraulics, and navigational clearances prior to submission of the permit application.
(i) If the HA bid plans contain alternative designs for the same configuration (fixed or movable), the permit application shall be prepared in sufficient detail so that all alternatives can be evaluated by the USCG. If appropriate, the USCG will issue a permit for all alternatives. Within 30 days after award of the construction contract, the USCG shall be notified by the HA of the alternate which was selected. The USCG procedure for evaluating permit applications which contain alternates is presented in its Bridge Administration Manual (COMDT INST M16590.5).(3) The FHWA policy on alternates, Alternate Design for Bridges; Policy Statement, was published at 48 FR 21409 on May 12, 1983.
Sec. 650.809 Movable span bridges.
A fixed bridge shall be selected wherever practicable. If there are social, economic, environmental or engineering reasons which favor the selection of a movable bridge, a cost benefit analysis to support the need for the movable bridge shall he prepared as a part of the preliminary plans.
1. This document is an internal directive in the USCG Bridge Administration Manual, Enclosure 1a, COMDT INST M16590.5, change 2 dated Dec. 1, 1983. It is available for inspection and copying from the U.S. Coast Guard or the Federal Highway Administration as prescribed in 49 CFR Part 7, Appendices B and D.
2. FHWA Notice 6640.22 dated July 17, 1981, is available for inspection and copying as prescribed in 49 CFR Part 7, Appendix D.
3. United States Coast Guard internal directives are available for inspection and copying as prescribed in 49 CFR Part 7, Appendix B.