RELEASE:

CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Lauren Hansen 757-925-1660
lauren.hansen@vdot.virginia.gov
HRO-59724

Sept. 6, 2012



PUBLIC COMMENT SOUGHT ON BERKLEY BRIDGE LIFT SCHEDULE
United States Coast Guard is accepting comments on the temporary deviation


NORFOLK - The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) received notice that the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Interim Rule is considering incorporating the Temporary Regulations as permanent governing the operating schedule of the I-264/ I-464 Berkley Bridge, effective Oct. 6, 2012.  The temporary regulation, in place since Sept. 2010, allows VDOT to schedule weekday bridge lifts at the Berkley Bridge to vessels requesting passage at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Exceptions include federal holidays and emergency lifts. Berkley Bridge lifts are not permitted during peak travel periods, from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

If the Interim Rule is not finalized by Oct. 5, 2012, VDOT will be required to open the Berkley Bridge on-demand, Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., once again.

“The opening schedule in place has proved quite beneficial to motorists in Hampton Roads. The scheduled lifts allow motorists the opportunity to plan routes and travel times accordingly,” states Dennis Heuer, VDOT Hampton Roads District Administrator.

Studies conducted since the temporary regulation went into place, show decreased vehicular congestion while still providing for the reasonable needs of navigation. In addition, the annual traffic volumes at the I-264 Downtown Tunnel Complex, which includes the Berkley Bridge, have steadily increased from an average of 91,000 vehicles daily in 2009 to an average of 104,000 in 2012, however, the reduction in lift duration combined with the predictability of scheduled lifts, has resulted in a significant efficiency increase. This predictability balances the competing demands of both the waterway and road users.

The Coast Guard posted this notice to the Federal Register on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, and will accept public comments until Oct. 1, 2012.  Citizens may submit comments, identified by docket number (USCG-2012-0357) by using any of the following methods: e-mail, fax, postal mail or hand delivery.

Comments via the web
• Click on: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=USCG-2012-0357-0001
• Select the blue box to make comments

Comments via fax, mail or hand delivery should be directed to the USCG Docket Management Facility. Submission details are as follows:
• Fax: 202-493-2251
• Postal Mail: Document Management Facility (M-30) U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., Washington, DC 20590
• Hand Delivery: Same address as mail above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Phone number is 202-366-9329

Editors Note: For media interested in scheduling more in-depth interviews, contact Jennifer Gwaltney, Transportation Operations Center Public Information Officer, 757-925-2583 or Jennifer.Gwaltney@VDOT.Virginia.gov.

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Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012