[StBernard] St. Claude Avenue Draw Bridge Operations Change to Accommodate Safe Navigation - Bridge may open during normal commute time curfews because of river levels

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed May 11 20:10:27 EDT 2011

Port of New Orleans Remains Open, Despite High Water

St. Claude Avenue Draw Bridge Operations Change to Accommodate Safe

Motorists who normally use the St. Claude Avenue Bridge should be advised
that the bridge may have to open during rush hour traffic to accommodate the
safe movement of maritime traffic.

Under normal circumstances, the St. Claude Avenue Bridge over the Inner
Harbor Navigational Canal (Industrial Canal) does not open for barge or ship
traffic during bridge curfew hours, on Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30
a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

However, high water conditions are making it difficult for maritime traffic
transiting the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal Lock between the Mississippi
River and the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal (IHNC) to wait for the bridge
curfew to end. Therefore, the Coast Guard has cancelled the normal bridge
curfew that expedites rush-hour vehicular traffic and advised the Port of
New Orleans it should open the St. Claude Avenue Bridge and allow maritime
traffic to go through the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lock when the vessel
signals for an opening.

This advisory affects only the St. Claude Avenue Bridge, which is lifted in
coordination with the IHNC Lock; it does not apply to the other draw bridges
that cross the IHNC, such as the Claiborne Avenue Bridge and the Florida
Avenue Bridge.

Aside from the change to bridge operations, there hasn't been a significant
impact to normal operations at the Port of New Orleans despite high water
conditions. All public port facilities in the jurisdiction of the Port of
New Orleans remain open. The Port continues to handle cargo ships and cruise
ships under its normal schedule.

The Associated Branch Pilots and the Crescent River Pilots continue to guide
vessels loaded up to 45 feet of draft, the project depth of the Lower
Mississippi River. The Bonnet Carre Spillway, the reservoir that the Corps
of Engineers has opened to divert river water into Lake Pontchartrain, is
located upriver from New Orleans. The spillway operation does not have an
impact on international ship traffic in the Port of New Orleans.

"The Port of New Orleans is monitoring the high water situation on a regular
basis and coordinating our activities with the local maritime community, the
Coast Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," said Port President and
CEO Gary LaGrange. "We don't anticipate any significant impact of the high
water conditions, but we will continue to keep the international shipping
community informed about any conditions that could affect port operations."

For up to date readings on river levels, currents and air gap measurements,
visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's PORTS system at

- End -


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