WPTV: Jupiter looking for ways to minimize ‘All Aboard Florida’ impact
Posted on April 23, 2015
JUPITER, Fla. – As ‘All Aboard Florida’ moves ahead with plans to get trains on the tracks by next year, the fight to keep them from running up our coastline is gaining speed.
For many in the town of Jupiter, it’s a project that is literally on the wrong track.
The Jupiter Inlet District gathered at Jupiter Town Hall Wednesday night to discuss both issues and solutions.
“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows…everyone in this room, save one or two, are against this project,” says Michael Kennedy, president of the Marine Industries Association.
The major issue surrounds the decades old railroad bridge.
Some say it’s too old to handle all the traffic all aboard will bring through.
In addition, the extra traffic means the bridge will be in the down position more often – a total of 6 and a half hours a day by most estimates.
Tequesta Mayor Abby Brennan says it will cause issues with their ambulance boats.
“We cannot get under that bridge when it’s closed,” she says. “We cannot get to someone in need, we cannot get there to render aid. It’s impossible.”
Kennedy says it’s not just public safety at risk.
“We’re here to protect the marine industries and people that use their boats that want to go up to the state park, that want to go up the river. And there’s commercial barges that go in here.”
Engineers brought in by the Jupiter inlet district came up with a potential solution- a redesigned truss structure that would provide 4 extra feet of clearance for boats.
“I’m hoping ‘All Aboard Florida’ will take this seriously and into consideration and implement it if they can,” Brennan says.
Members of the inlet district say as they wait to hear what all aboard has to say about their proposal, they are encouraging residents to call their local law makers to voice their concerns.