Vessel hours expanded for Mass. bridge to aid fuel deliveries

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(BOSTON) — Effective immediately, the captain of the port will authorize the Weymouth Fore River Bridge to open to vessels during weekday rush hour to facilitate the delivery of critical fuel. 

The Coast Guard will allow the bridge openings on an as-needed basis, which may impact vehicular traffic. Normally on weekdays, the Weymouth Fore River Bridge is closed to large vessels from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to facilitate the flow of vehicular traffic. But recent extreme weather and ice accumulation in the Weymouth Fore River has made it difficult for tank vessels and barges to deliver time-sensitive resources such as home heating oil and kerosene, and fuel for power plants and public transit. 

"These deliveries are critical to the region in order to avoid supply shortages," said Capt. Claudia Gelzer, commander of Sector Boston and captain of the port of the Boston. 

The adjustment is part of the Coast Guard's ongoing Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters (RENEW). Operation RENEW is the Coast Guard's region-wide commitment to ensure Northeast communities have the security, supplies, energy, and emergency resources they need throughout the winter. More than 85 percent of the nation’s home heating oil needs are in the northeastern U.S., and 90 percent of that fuel will be delivered, at some point, by barge through Coast Guard Northeast waters.

By Professional Mariner Staff