Boca Mag: Still Not All Aboard

Posted on October 23, 2014

By Randy Schultz

October 23, 2014

 Still not all on board

 Though votes this week in Miami-Dade and Brevard counties will help All Aboard Florida secure financing for its Miami-Orlando passenger rail service, there is no sign that opponents are letting up.

The Coast Guard had scheduled hearings for this month to get public comment on how All Aboard Florida’s 32 trains a day will affect navigation. Bridges that otherwise would be locked down will have to be raised each time a train passes. That isn’t a problem between Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, but it could be a problem for the New River in Fort Lauderdale, and it could be a big problem for the Loxahatchee and St. Lucie rivers in northern Palm Beach County and Martin County.

The Coast Guard delayed the hearings and has not set new dates. You can assume that the reason for the delay was that officials expected a lot of comment and that most of it would be negative. It seems unlikely that the hearings will take place before Election Day.

All Aboard Florida is a major issue in the District 16 U.S. House race between incumbent Patrick Murphy and Carl Domino. Despite all the federal issues to argue about, Murphy and Domino are competing to show who could stop All Aboard Florida. In fact, neither could. If the company gets its (now private) financing and the Coast Guard signs off—perhaps after issuing conditions to minimize delays to navigation—All Aboard Florida will start running as planned in 2016.

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