“We are concerned that de-activating the Union Pacific swing bridge may cause the other bridge owners to request their bridges be deactivated too which will limit navigation even more,” Hughes said in the letter.
“The issue needs to be thoroughly reviewed,” Sabine River Authority executive director Jerry Clark said.
Raquel Espinoza, director of corporate relations and media for Union Pacific’s Southern region, cited the length of time the company had gone without a request to open the bridge.
“We haven’t had a request to open the bridge for larger boats since Hurricane Katrina,” Espinoza said. “Because of the way the bridge is set up, it has joints that have to be maintained. We have to operate our trains slower because of the joints.”
Espinoza said the speed limit is 60 mph, but that the company runs the train across the bridge at 40 mph.
Citizens wishing to contact the Coast Guard regarding the matter may do so by writing to Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, The Hale Boggs Federal Building, 500 Poydras Street, Room 1313, New Orleans, LA 70130. The Coast Guard is accepting public comments through August 14.
Reach this reporter at 409-883-3571, Ext. 2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org