Proposed Brightline Frequency Will Affect Home & Boat owners on the No. & So. Fork of the St. Lucie River
BY: DIANE LOTT, BROKER PARADISE FOUND REALTY
There has been recent alarming news on the high-speed Brightline rail service from Miami to Orlando. This recent news will most certainly affect boating on the river, as well as a potential decrease in home values located on the North and South Fork due to the restriction of boat travel east and west under the Roosevelt Bridge. The restriction of boating traffic might affect the homes that are on the west side of the trestle. If waterway access becomes “choked off”, then the desire to purchase a waterfront home on the North or South Fork (west of the bridge) of the St. Lucie River can cause the homes to have diminished values.
Originally there was a promise from “Brightline” that the train trestle over the St. Lucie River, parallel to the Roosevelt Bridge, would be rebuilt higher so that the increase in the amount of use would not affect the home and boat owners on the North and South Fork of the River. However, the railroad lobby won and Brightline has received permission to keep the current trestle even with the increase in flow both north and south on the railway. It is proposed that there will be up to 45 trips using that rail bridge every day with both commercial and passenger travel combined.
With the increase in the rail traffic, the trestle that currently rests in the “up” position, would reverse and be in the “down” position for what could be up to 45 minutes/hour. This restriction of boat traffic will be catastrophic and a severe safety issue for boaters that are waiting up to 45 minutes for the trestle to raise so that they can proceed. Boats will pile up on either side of the Roosevelt Bridge waiting or circling for their chance to get through. This is a terrible accident waiting to happen. Boat accidents and the increased train traffic over an entirely ancient trestle might not hold up to the high-speed trains that are set to use it causing a potential train accident.
This is a done deal with respect to using the old trestle being used. However, the U.S. Coast Guard has a comment section for residents to add their input for alternatives or solutions for the timing of trestle openings. The following is an excerpt from an email from US Representative Brian Mast’s office concerning this issue.
“As part of the regulatory process, the Coast Guard has begun a public comment period, where members of the community are able to share their opinions about the proposed rule. Anyone can submit a comment, and it can be anonymous if they prefer. The deadline is Tuesday, July 25. The link to the public comment page is: https://www.regulations.gov/document/USCG-2022-0222-0001/comment
Rep. Mast is going to be submitting his own comment outlining his concerns, namely that the Coast Guard’s stated goal of “a more predictable schedule” for boaters is really code for “less access.” He does not believe that rail traffic should be prioritized over boat traffic, and that the bridge should remain up 45 minutes out of every hour. He doesn’t want to see boaters forced to use tiny windows of 15 minutes each hour to go under the bridge, while Brightline trains roll through dozens of times per day.
It would be in every homeowner and/or boat owner’s best interest that lives west of the Roosevelt Bridge using the waterways to bombard them with as many (constructive) comments as possible between now and then since each person can comment as many times as they’d like.
Diane Lott, Broker
Owner: Paradise Found Realty
Paradise Found Realty, Inc. of Palm City
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