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Closures planned on Elizabeth River boat traffic next year

The Elizabeth River will be closed to boat traffic at Portsmouth, Virginia at various times next winter and early spring. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is announcing in the Federal Register of Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 that it plans to close a segment of the river to unauthorized traffic for construction of a tunnel. The tentative plan is to close the area for boating for 12 periods of 48 hours each near the Midtown Tunnel.

The tentative periods would start at at midnight on January 1, January 12, January 19, January 22, January 27, February 9, March 2, March 5, March 10, March 23, March 30 and April 6, 2015. Dates are subject to change for factors such as the weather.

USCG is taking comments on the proposed plan until Sept. 24. You can file them online at; fax them to (202) 493-2251; or mail or hand-deliver them to Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave.SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

If you have any questions, contact Lieutenant Commander Gregory Knoll, Waterways Management Division chief, Sector Hampton Roads, Coast Guard, (757) 668-5580,

USCG does not plan a public meeting on the matter but may schedule one if it gets requests by Sept. 9.

SKW Constructors is building a new tunnel on the river to connect Portsmouth with Norfolk, Virginia. Work started in 2011 but this is the first time the river will have to be closed for it.

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