Coast Guard schedules three meetings on All Aboard Florida
Posted on November 4, 2014
The Coast Guard has scheduled three meetings for the public to comment on the All Aboard Florida express passenger rail project after postponing previous forums to find larger venues.
The meetings, where people can provide written and verbal comments, will focus on waterway navigation through three aging drawbridges that close to boat traffic when trains pass over.
Boaters have complained that the addition of 32 passenger trains per day on the Florida East Coast Railway tracks will lead to unsafe vessel backups and delays on the New River, St. Lucie River and Loxahatchee River.
“We could be waiting two hours of real time to get through the bridge,” said Jim Butler, of Palm City, during a meeting Thursday on All Aboard Florida’s environmental impact. “I think it’s going to lead to some dangerous situations.”
Although bridge closings will increase, All Aboard Florida’s improvements to the bridges are expected to cut the wait time at the St. Lucie River bridge by five minutes to 15 minutes. Boater wait times at the Loxahatchee River drawbridge in Jupiter are expected to decrease from 20 minutes to 12. The New River bridge closures will be cut from 19 minutes per crossing to 13 minutes.
The Coast Guard meetings begin Nov. 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park, 751 Sheridan Street, Hollywood.
A Nov. 13 meeting is scheduled for between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the John F. Armstrong Wing Auditorium of the Blake Library at 2351 SE Monterey Road.
A Nov. 14 meeting is scheduled for between 5:30 and 8 p.m. at the Town of Jupiter Council Chambers, 210 Military Trail.
Comments can still be sent via mail or email to Office of the Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District, Brickell Plaza Federal Building, 909 SE 1st Ave., Suite 432, Miami, Florida 33131, or USCGD7DPBPublicComment@uscg.mil.