Thumb up: Finally, local governments will have access to railroad bridge inspection reports

Posted on March 3, 2016

By Editorial Board

BRIDGE REPORTS: It took an act of Congress for local governments to obtain railroad bridge inspection reports. Literally.

Martin County officials have attempted, unsuccessfully, for more than a year to obtain a detailed report of the St. Lucie River railroad bridge in Stuart.

The condition of the 75-year-old drawbridge is a public safety issue - especially given the fact All Aboard Florida plans to begin running 32 daily passenger trains across the span beginning in late 2017.

The Florida East Coast Railway, which owns the bridge, has contended inspection reports are proprietary information and refused repeated requests from the county to release this information.

Enter the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama in December. Among other things, it provides a means for local governments to obtain bridge inspection reports.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched a tool on its website to facilitate the process.

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