SEA BRIGHT: The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking the public's opinion on a proposal to change the number of times the Rumon-Sea Bright Bridge opens during the summer season.
The county, which owns the bridge, has submitted a request to reduce the number of times the bridge opens to vehicular traffic from twice per hour from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, Sunday and holidays to once per hour during that same timeframe. Fridays would also be added to the schedule under the proposed change.
Vehicular traffic created from the bridge's opening has been cited as the reason for the change.
"Analysis furnished by Monmouth County confirms that the seasonal nature of bridge openings negatively impacts the efficient flow of vehicular traffic," according to a post on the Federal Register by the Coast Guard. "Moreover, the study indicates that reducing the number of scheduled openings for vessels will not significantly affect the movement of waterway traffic. It was also noted that vehicular traffic builds significantly on each successive Friday leading into the weekend over the course of the summer."
The schedule, if adopted, would run from May 15 through September 30, on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays, while still opening on signal during evening hours as well as through the autumn, winter and spring months.
The Coast Guard is looking to get as many public comments as possible until Sept. 18, 2017.
"We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period," the notice states. "Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation."