Palm Beach Post: All Aboard Florida: Coast Guard hosts meetings on high-speed rail

Posted on September 9, 2014

By Christine Stapleton, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

The U.S. Coast Guard will hold hearings throughout the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches regarding the maritime impact of the proposed All Aboard Florida project.

The two public comment meetings announced today come after U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy met met with Coast Guard Rear Admiral John H. Korn in July to express his opposition to the high-speed rail and made a formal request for the Coast Guard to hold hearings so the public can explain the project’s impact on maritime traffic, commerce, and safety.

The Coast Guard will also conduct a navigation survey in relation to the Loxahatchee, St. Lucie, and New Rivers.

“With the proposition of 32 additional trains crossing the Loxahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers via draw bridges that are almost a century old, AAF stands to create major problems on the water backing up recreational boats, harming marine businesses, and delaying emergency vehicles by causing frequent closures,” Murphy said in a statement released today about the meetings. “It is imperative that business owners, boaters, and emergency personnel have their concerns heard so that the Coast Guard may evaluate how best to ensure the continued navigability of our waterways.”
The project is expected to bring 32 additional trains a day on the Florida East Coast Railway tracks from Miami to Orlando with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The Miami-to-West Palm Beach service is expected to open in late 2016.

The first meeting, called the Loxahatchee River Public Information Gathering Meeting, will be held on Oct. 2 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Embassy Suites, 4350 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens.
The St. Lucie River Public Information Gathering Meeting will be held on Oct. 3, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort, 555 NE Ocean Blvd., Stuart.

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