Georgia and USCG Agree to Revise ICW Closures at Causton Bluff
Date Posted: September 15, 2023
Source: Ed Tillett, Editor-in-Chief

Photo taken September 5, 2023, by Ted Arisaka


The Georgia Department of Transportation has revised it's work schedule and plan for demolition of the Causton Bluff Bridge at Mile 579.9 on the Wilmington River following a stakeholder meeting on September 21, 2023.

The initial and approved schedule would have closed the waterway for up to seven weeks with very limited times for passage beginning Monday, September 18, 2023. 

The new schedule, which is being adjusted and forwarded to the USCG for approval, will accommodate varied opening and closing times to allow more liberal passage and transit of commercial vessels and pleasure craft.

Boating groups, commercial interests, and representatives from various agencies queried USCG and Georgia Department of Transportation officials during a virtual meeting on September 15, 2023, expressing concerns about the work schedule due to the number of hours and days that the AICW would be closed. 

James Newsome, publisher of ICW Free Docks, from St. Simons Island, GA, attended the September 15 meeting and said, "A very strong case was made by recreational and commercial boating representatives, including coastal cruise ships and bulk fuel deliveries to military bases with national defense impact, to postpone and revise the existing plan. Safety was foremost on boating groups' concerns, including congested traffic with barges and private vessels all trying to get through a narrow passage, that is also on a bend in the ICW, in the short windows of allotted time."

Following the September 21, 2023, meeting, various stakeholders, including the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, commercial tug and barge companies, and pleasure boating groups reported that the proposed revised schedule is reasonable and will not impede traffic through the channel at Causton Bluff if vessels maintain awareness of the openings and closings, and manage their transit times to align with the construction work.

The USCG is expected to post a revised Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) to announce the new schedule when final agreement has been reached on the revisions agreed to during the stakeholder session on September 21, 2023.

Use this link in the Waterway Guide online portal for the latest updates from USCG. Causton Bluff Bridge at Mile 579.9 on the Wilmington River

Comment Submitted by Mark W Kiehl - September 22, 2023
This win is another example of the exceptional value the Waterway Guide brings to the recreational boating community. Thanks to the Waterway Guide editors and everyone else who contributed to make this serious issue visible.
Comment Submitted by William R Wakefield - September 22, 2023
Good things can be achieved when all parties work together.
Comment Submitted by Peter Swanson - September 20, 2023
Good job, advocating for your people. And a good little summary without quoting anyone's bombast.
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