Is Vero Beach Being Punished By All Aboard Florida?

LAST WEEK A VERY IRRITATED Vero Beach city official called to say we should be doing research about how AAF is “punishing” the City for not immediately being in favor of the project.

Apparently AAF notified the Public Work Department that they had to upgrade two at grade crossings – Aviation Blvd and 14th Street. The Public Works Department wrote them several times to ask them to delay the upgrades until AAF comes in with the double tracks; but there was never any response. Then all of a sudden AAF called to say there were coming in to upgrade them with no discussion or warning. AAF will be invoicing Vero for the roadwork. (This was confirmed in a phone call to the Public Works Department.)

These are upgrades to crossings that will have to be upgraded again that the City will have to pay for again.

Rail Crossing

Upgraded crossing at Aviation Boulevard

Junk

And what about this junk left over from the upgrade?  Who’s going to pay to have that removed?

The Vero Man project is another example of being punished.

Dig

The Vero Man archeological site encompasses land on both sides and under the tracks.

Typically when you engage in a building project, you sit down with the contractor and change/fix/modify the project. The Vero Man staff cannot get any response from AAF about what they plan to do. After 6-9 months, AAF has only provided a 30% description of what they plan to, whereas Martin County and other counties have received a 90% description.

It causes one to wonder if the delay in getting the 90% plans is deliberate.

Meanwhile while the Florida Division of Historical Resources (FDHR), which provides grants for historical projects, “is not protecting Vero on the other side.”

There is absolutely no communication with AAF whatsoever. We are being ignored.

Perhaps the City Council should send a letter the Governor, the FDHR and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and tell them this is outrageous and they demand they intercede on behalf of the Vero Man Project, as should the county with the plan delays.

Unfortunately, “Governor Scott wants the project and has no concern whatsoever for what happens in Vero itself and with the Vero Man Project and how the AAF project will affect us in terms of safety, archeology and our economy.”

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