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Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Vertical Clearance Gauge Corrected at Topsail Island Bridge, AICW Statute Mile 252.3

UPDATE! The water gauge was indeed incorrect, but that problem has now been corrected! See the first two notes below. We are proud that the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net was able to assist in getting the problem addressed!

Cruising News 12/05/2012:
The North Carolina Department of Transportation reports that they have corrected the tidal gauges on this bridge and that it has a height at Mean High Water of 64 Feet (NOT 65). The USCG states that they will have NOAA confirm this report and issue appropriate changes to the charts.
John Kremski

Mr. Gregory,
NCDOT Bridge Maintenance measured the vertical clearance at the North Topsail High-rise Bridge on Wednesday, November 10. The marker was found to be off by 8″ and was adjusted accordingly.
Please advise if you need any further information.
Thanks, Amanda
Amanda T. Glynn, P.E.
Division Bridge Program Manager
NCDOT – Division 3

And, here, below, are the postings which originally brought this matter to our attention, and began the correction process!

We ripped all of wind instruments and tri-color off the top of the mast. Our mast is 63 feet and the bridge marker said the bridge was 65 feet. Bad day in NC!
Captain Ashley Erwin

I understand high tides and we had previously waited several hours to be able to get under a bridge, for example the Atlantic Beach-Morehead City bridge. But to have the bridge marker wrong, is unsafe. High tides come and go, but there is no excuse for the bridge marker to be wrong.
Captain Ashley Erwin

SSECN Regional Editor, Captain Larry Dorminy, forwarded Captain Erwin’s note above to Captain Waverly Gregory, USCG “Bridge Administrator” for NC waters. Captain Gregory, in turn, forwarded the strongly worded e-mail copied copied below to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. It is to be hoped the inaccurate clearance gauge in question will soon be remedied.
This fortunate series of actions illustrates another way in which the SSECN is always striving to be an advocate for the cruising community.

To: Mr. Trevor Carroll,
We were advised of a discrepancy at Subject Bridge. It has been reported by marine interests that the vertical clearance gauges placed at the bridge are inaccurate. (See below hyperlink)
It is the bridge owner’s responsibility for the accuracy of the gauges and to re-measure the vertical distance of the numerals and foot marks below “low steel” of the bridge. Failure to maintain the accessories may make a bridge owner liable for civil penalty of up to $25,000 for each violation.
The discrepancy must be verified and corrected immediately and this office shall be notified as soon as possible as to the action taken.
If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact me. Thank you. Waverly
Waverly W. Gregory, Jr.
Bridge Administrator

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To An “Alert” Position At the Top Sail Bridge

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Bridge Directory Listing For Top Sail Island Bridge

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