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Bridge of Lions - traffic

City needs your support for Bridge of Lions schedule modifications

May 12, 2017 - As the City of St. Augustine continues to look at the many ways that mobility of vehicular traffic might be improved in the city, it has made an official request of the US Coast Guard (USCG) to consider modifying the current set schedule for  openings of the Bridge of Lions to marine traffic. In turn, the USCG is now seeking public input in support of the proposed modifications. It is the USCG that governs the bridge’s opening schedule for vessels.

Currently the bridge opens when requested by a vessel only on the hour and half hour between 7:00am and 6:00pm, but not at 8:00am, 12:00pm, and 5:00pm except on Saturday, Sunday and federal holidays.

The city’s modest request asks simply that the scheduled openings be extended by three hours to 9:00pm and that it not open on weekends and federal holidays at 3:30pm.

These changes will have no affect on current rules that allow for bridge openings on-demand at anytime for vessels under tow or being pushed by a tugboat, or vessels experiencing emergencies.

With the ever increasing vehicular traffic using the Bridge of Lions because of both an increase in population and the year-round growth in tourism, the city believes these changes will serve to address some of the congestion caused anytime the bridge opens.

Modifications to the schedule were first discussed during a meeting in 2015 between the City, the USCG, and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), owner of the bridge. Then, last year, the city submitted the specific request on which the USCG is now seeking public comment, through May 15, 2017.

How to comment

Bridge of Lions - openThere are two ways the public may submit their support of the requested modifications to the Bridge of Lions opening schedule: 1) directly to the US Coast Guard, or 2) through the City.

Through May 15, 2017, submit a comment directly at www.Regulations.gov:

1. Go to the specific comment page by clicking here.

2. Copy and Paste the following into the Comment section:

Vehicle traffic is becoming exponentially worse with each passing season and that on-demand bridge openings are contributing to vehicle traffic backups on the Bridge of Lions.  For this reason I support the proposed modification of extending the twice an hour draw opening period from 7:00am to 9:00pm daily, and preclude the draw bridge from opening at 3:30pm on weekends and federal holidays.

3. Enter your first and last name or, if you so desire, enter “Anonymous” in place of your name. If you wish, you may also provide your complete contact information.

4. Click “Continue” at the bottom right corner of the page.

Through May 10, 2017, submit a comment letter via the City of St. Augustine:

1. Print a template letter by clicking here

2. Add the date, your signature and printed name.

3. Scan and email the signed letter to Mobility@CityStAug.com
OR
Mail* the signed letter to:
City of St. Augustine
Attention: Mobility, Bridge of Lions
75 King St.
St. Augustine, FL 32084

*Letters sent to the City via email or postal service must be received in our office by Wednesday, May 10, 2017.