Bridge Alteration

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department Of Homeland Security
CFDA #: 97.014

Purpose of this program:

To accomplish alteration of obstructive bridges to render navigation through or under it reasonably free, easy, and unobstructed for the benefit of navigation. In accordance with the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1996, permanent authority exists in 49 U.S.C. 104(e) to transfer funds from the Federal-Aid Highways discretionary bridge program to the Coast Guard to finance alteration of Truman-Hobbs obstructive highway bridges.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Funds are reimbursed to bridge owner to cover payments of the Government's share for work performed in altering the obstructive bridge in accordance with the approved general plans and specifications. All changes to plans and specifications need prior approval of the Coast Guard before reimbursement of expenditure can be authorized. Costs of alteration attributable to the following are ineligible: (1) direct and special benefits which will accrue to the bridge owner as a result of the alteration, (2) the expectable savings in repair or maintenance costs, (3) requirements of traffic by railroad or highway or both, (4) increasing carrying capacity, (5) portion of the actual capital cost of the old bridge or such part of the old bridge as may be altered or changed or rebuilt as the used service life of the whole or a part, as the case may be, bears to the total estimated service life of the whole or such part: Provided, that the part of the cost of alteration of any bridge for both highway and railroad traffic, attributable to the requirements of traffic by highway, shall be borne by the proprietor of the highway. (6) Provided further, that in the event the alteration or relocation of any bridge may be desirable for the reason that the bridge unreasonably obstructs navigation, but also for some other reason, the Secretary may require equitable contribution from any interested person, firm, association, corporation, municipality, county, or State desiring such alteration or relocation for such other reason, as a condition precedent to the making of an order for such alteration or relocation. The United States shall bear the balance of the cost, including that part attributable to the necessities of navigation. Bridge alteration and relocation actions must comply with the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (Public Law 91-190), as amended; the CEQ Regulations (40 CFR 1500-1508) which implements NEPA; Executive Order 11514, as amended, Protection and Enhancement of Environmental Quality; DOT Order 5610.1C, Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts, and COMDTINST M16475.1C, NEPA Implementing Procedures.

Who is eligible to apply...

(1) Any State, county, municipality, or other political subdivision or any corporation, association, partnership, or individual owning or jointly owning any lawful bridge over navigable waters of the United States which is used and operated for the purpose of carrying railroad traffic, or both railroad and highway traffic, or (2) Any State, county, municipality, or other political subdivision owning or jointly owning any lawful bridge over the navigable waters of the United States which is used and operated for the purpose of carrying highway traffic.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

A bridge must be determined to unreasonably obstruct navigation. This determination is made by the Coast Guard after conducting an investigation and determining that the navigational benefits that would accrue as a result of altering the bridge equal or exceed the cost of alteration.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

A formal written complaint stating that a bridge is unreasonably obstructive is made to the appropriate Coast Guard District Commander who determines through informal discussions with the complainant, waterway users, other interested parties, whether or not a preliminary investigation is required. Impediments to highway or railway are not valid complaints. In some cases, based on the accident history of a bridge alone, a preliminary investigation may be initiated by the District Commander. Computing benefits is not a responsibility of the complainant, it is a Coast Guard responsibility. Environmental considerations also do not enter into consideration for determining whether or not a bridge is unreasonably obstructive.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

When preliminary investigation of the District Commander indicates sufficient benefits to navigation are not readily available to at least justify a detailed investigation, the District Commander informs the complainant that there is no sufficient evidence to warrant further investigation and closes the case. However, when the preliminary investigation indicates that the bridge may be unreasonably obstructive, the District Commander undertakes a detailed investigation with the approval of the Commandant (G-OPT). The Coast Guard District holds a public hearing to determine the facts upon which a firm decision to alter or not alter is made. The detailed investigation is reviewed by the Commandant, if the navigational benefit equals to or is greater than the cost of the bridge alteration, then the bridge is declared unreasonably obstructive to navigation and therefore, becomes eligible for Federal funding under the Truman-Hobbs Act. For additional details refer to 33 CFR 116.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...



Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

1. Within six months from the start of the preliminary investigation, if sufficient costs to navigation are not readily available to justify a detailed investigation, the case is closed out by the District Commander. 2. Extension of time beyond the six months may be allowed provided a quarterly progress report is forwarded to the Commandant. 3. Final investigation report including the benefit and cost ratio which becomes the basis for the determination to declare the bridge an unreasonable obstruction to navigation is completed within a 3-year period from the date of initial complaint.

Preapplication Coordination

An applicant should contact the Coast Guard District bridge staff or Headquarters bridge staff for information as to what is necessary to support his/her complaint that a bridge is unreasonably obstructive to navigation. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his/her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Within 60 days of the District Commander's decision that the case is closed, an appeal must be submitted in writing to the U. S. Coast Guard Directorate of Operations Policy (G-OP), 2100 Second Street, SW., Washington, DC 20593-0001. Commandant will take action on the appeal within 90 days of the receipt of the appeal.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


The case may be reopened at any time if changes in navigation occur or additional information is provided.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Navigation, maritime transportation interests, commercial and recreational boating public, marine traffic, ports, bridge owners, land transportation, and general local public.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Direct Payments for Specified Use

Financial assistance from the Federal government provided directly to individuals, private firms, and other private institutions to encourage or subsidize a particular activity by conditioning the receipt of the assistance on a particular performance by the recipient. This does not include solicited contracts for the procurement of goods and services for the Federal government.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

From fiscal year 2001 through fiscal year 2002, the range of the financial assistance was $14,740,000 to $42,800,000.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Direct Payments) FY 03 $0; FY 04 est $0; and FY 05 est $0.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

1. Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge over the Willamette River, Portland, Oregon. 2. CSX Transportation Company Bridge over the East Pascagoula River, Pascagoula, Mississippi. 3. Trent River Railroad Bridge, New Bern, North Carolina. 4. Norfolk and Southern Railroad Bridge over the Mississippi River, Hannibal, Missouri. 5. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge over the Mississippi River, Burlington, Iowa. 6. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company Bridge over the Mississippi River, Fort Madison, Iowa. 7. Georgia DOT Sidney Lanier Bridge over the Burnswick River, Burnswick, Georgia. 8. Florida Avenue Bridge across the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal, New Orleans, Louisiana. 9. Boston City Bridge over Chelsea river, Boston, Massachusetts. 10. South Carolina DOT Limehouse Bridge over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Charleston, South Carolina. 11. U.S. Navy Reserve Basin Bridge, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 12. EJ&E Railroad Company Bridge over the Illinois Waterway, Divine, Illinois. 13. CSX Transportation Company Bridge over the Mobile River, Hurricane, Alabama.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

The Coast Guard has completed 27 bridge alteration projects at a total cost of $193 million to the Government. At present, 9 projects located in Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Illinois, Alabama, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania are under design and construction. The majority of the above projects are railroad bridges with a small number of highway bridges.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

The selection criteria are primarily based on the benefit to navigation and the cost of alteration of the obstructive bridge. The following Criteria are used to determine if a bridge is obstructive under the Truman Hobbs Act: The District Commander receives complaints that a bridge is obstructive to navigation, or he can initiate an investigation because of numerous accidents. Through informal discussions with the complainant and other affected and or concerned parties, if sufficient information is available, the District Commander may formulate an opinion on whether or not the bridge in question is an unreasonable obstruction to navigation. If the District Commander determines that further investigation is not warranted, the District Commander informs the complainant there is not enough evidence to warrant an investigation and takes no further action. If the District Commander concludes that the bridge could be an unreasonable obstruction to navigation, the District Commander conducts a Preliminary Investigation, which involves: analyzing the existing bridge to determine if the navigational clearances are restrictive and to what extent; describing the waterway in the vicinity of the bridge (with charts of the area) for the record to establish, area and location of bridge in question, and any naturally occurring aspects of the environment which may impact navigation; collecting data on bridge openings to establish amount of use, accidents attributed to restrictive navigational clearances and not pilot error, all costs associated with accidents as described above, and other costs associated with the need to alter for the benefit of navigation (i.e., the cost of double tripping); computing the navigation benefits; and recommending a course of action. A Preliminary Investigation Report is sent to the Commandant for review. If the Commandant determines that the bridge is not an unreasonable obstruction to navigation, the Commandant then notifies the District Commander that the bridge does not qualify for alteration under the Truman-Hobbs Act and no further action is required. The case may be reopened if changes in navigation occur. If the Commandant determines that the bridge may be an unreasonable obstruction to navigation, the Commandant then directs the District Commander to conduct a detailed investigation. The purpose of the investigation is to gather additional facts to determine if the bridge is indeed an unreasonable obstruction to navigation, what clearances are needed, and any other circumstances that need disclosing. The District Commander forwards a Detailed Investigation Report to the Commandant. The report contains detailed information and substantiated data collected during the investigation in support of the recommendation. The Commandant reviews the Detailed Investigation Report and conducts a Benefit/Cost Analysis. The Commandant then determines if the benefit to navigation which will result from the alteration is at least equal to the cost of making the bridge alterations. If the benefit does not at least equal the cost then the bridge can not be altered under the Truman-Hobbs Act. The Navigation Benefit is used to calculate the Benefit-to Cost Ratio (B/C). The B/C will be used to determine eligibility under the Truman-Hobbs Act and to justify for funding before Congress. The Navigational Benefits generally will be calculated in three categories, namely: (1) Vessels delays resulting from limited clearances of the bridge (or Transit Time Savings, resulting from a reduction in transit time and thus operating expenses in clearing the bridge zone); (2) Collision damage resulting from accidents caused by the limited clearance of the bridge (or Water Accident Reduction Savings, due to elimination/reduction of future damages to the bridge, fenders, and vessels); and (3) Certain other savings have been eliminated. Examples of these savings are

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

There is no restriction placed on the time period over which the payment of the total share of the United States is made except the time period should be reasonable. This time period is determined by the Commandant. After approving the general plans and specifications for the alteration of such bridge, the guarantee of the owner not to exceed the total project cost, the fixing of proportionate shares of the United States and the owner, out of the funds appropriated by Congress, reimbursement or payment to the bridge owner begins on such construction costs as the work progresses and upon receipt of the certification of completion.

Formula and Matching Requirements

The general statutory procedures which serve as the basis of determining the proportionate shares of the total cost of the project to be borne by the United States and by the bridge owner is described in the Act of June 21, 1940, as amended (Truman-Hobbs Act) (54 Stat. 497, 33 U.S.C. 516). The general procedure and statutory requirements are also listed in 33 CFR 116.30. In the event the alteration or relocation of any bridge may be desirable for reasons that the bridge unreasonably obstructs navigation, but also for some other reasons, equitable contribution from any interested person, firm, association, corporation, municipality, county, or State desiring such alteration or relocation as a condition precedent to making an order for alteration or relocation. The United States bears the balance of the cost including that part attributable to the necessities of navigation.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


Monthly progress reports of design and construction. Monthly bills indicating payment has been made so that reimbursement can be made.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


DOT Audit is made at the completion of the alteration and final payment of the last bill and to ensure that funds have been applied to the project efficiently, economically, effectively and no overcharges have been made to the project. The audit procedure mandated for the program is the IG Act of 1978, as amended, and DOT Order No. 2900.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


The bridge owner is required to maintain all financial records, bills and payments, in-house force account records, time and attendance, contract documents, final acceptance of the project, and receipt of all payments.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Rivers and Harbors Appropriations Act of 1899, Section 18, 30 Stat. 1153, 33 U.S.C. 502; Bridge Act of 1906, Sections 4 and 5, 34 Stat. 85, 33 U.S.C. 494, 495; Act of June 21, 1940, as amended; Truman-Hobbs Act, 54 Stat. 497, 33 U.S.C. 511-523.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

33 CFR 116, Truman-Hobbs Act, 33 U.S.C. 511-523, Commandant Instruction M16590.5 -Chapter 6. These documents are available in the Bridge Administration Division of the U. S. Coast Guard, 2100 Second Street, SW., Washington, DC 20593-0001.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

District Bridge Administrators in each district are the local points of contact. Coast Guard District Offices. First Coast Guard District (obr): Mr. John McDonald (obr), 408 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA 02210-2209. Commercial: (617) 223-8364. Fax: (617) 223-8026. Gary Kassof (obr), Battery Park Bldg., New York, NY 10004-5073. Commercial: (212) 668-7165. Fax: (212) 668-7967. Western River Directorate (obr), Roger Wiebusch, 1222 Spruce St., St. Louis, MO 63103-2398. Commercial: (314) 539-3900. Fax: 314-539-3755. Fifth Coast Guard District (Aowb) Ann Deaton, Federal Building, 431 Crawford St., Portsmouth, VA 23704-5004. Commercial: (757) 398-6557. Fax: (757) 398-6334. Seventh Coast Guard District (oan) Gregg Shapley, Brickell Plaza, 909 SE. 1st Ave., Miami, FL 33130-3050. Commercial: (305) 415-6743. Fax: (305) 415-6757. Eighth Coast Guard District (obc) Marcus Redford, Hale Boggs Federal Bldg., 501 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130-3396. Commercial: (504) 589-2965. Fax: (504) 589-3063. Ninth Coast Guard District (obr) Bob Bloom, 1240 East 9th St., Cleveland, OH 44199-2060. Commercial: (216) 902-6085. Fax: (216) 902-6088. Eleventh Coast Guard. District (oan-2), David Sulouff Bldg. 10, Rm. 50-6, Alameda, CA 94501-5100. Commercial: (510) 437-3514. Fax: (510) 437-5836. Thirteenth Coast Guard District (ob), John Mikesell Federal Bldg., 915 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98174-1067. Commercial: (206) 220-7270. Fax: (206) 220-7285. Fourteenth Coast Guard District (oan), CDR Thomas Hooper Federal Bldg., 300 Ala Moana Blvd., Rm. 9139, Honolulu, HI 96850-4982. Commercial: (808) 541-2315. Fax: (808) 541- 2318. Seventeenth Coast Guard District (oan) Jim Helfinstine, P.O. Box 25517, Juneau, AK 99802-5517. Commercial: (907) 463-2268. Fax: (907) 463-2273.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Department of Homeland Security 245 Murray Drive, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20528 Tel. (202) 282-8000.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: