The restrictions on boats going under the Elizabeth River bridge have become permanent. The Coast Guard announced it has adopted as final the interim rule it set last August that restrict openings to four times a day of the Berkley (I-264) Bridge at mile 0.4 across the Eastern Branch of the river in Norfolk, Virginia.
The Coast Guard decided it needed the restrictions so as not to impede heavy auto traffic on the bridge. For details see http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-03-20/html/2013-06428.htm. For the history, see the stories linked to below.
The temporary rules officially become final on April 19.
The Coast Guard first put the schedule into effect in 2009 on a temporary basis, extending them and proposing to make them permanent last year.
Previously, the bridge would open on demand. But increasing population and auto traffic – trends the Coast Guard expects to continue – could cause too much traffic buildup. Some of the traffic increase, however, was caused by temporary closures of other bridges, the agency acknowledges.
The Coast Guard says waterway users have gotten accustomed to the new schedule already.