Letter from Abby Brennan, Mayor, Village of Tequesta, Regarding All Aboard Florida

The FEC railroad bridge over the Loxahatchee River Monday, February 3, 2014. The clearance is very low, as can be seen by the water height under the fixed part of the span at right, so most boaters will have access to Intracoastal and inlet severely restricted once the passenger rail starts running 16 round-trips a day.   (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

Loxahatchee River Train Bridge

IN A LETTER TO HER NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS, Village of Tequesta Mayor Abby Brennan wrote about an incident involving the Loxahatchee River Train Bridge.

What follows after her letter is the how the Federal Department of Transportation’s Final Environmental Impact Statement for All Aboard Florida plans to deal with this decaying bridge.

Village of Tequesta Logo - 4c copy

July, 22, 2015

Hello neighbors and friends,

Earlier this afternoon, a colleague alerted me to a situation occurring in the channel beneath the Loxahatchee River train bridge.

His brother was in his boat when he discovered a large timber beam that had detached from the train bridge and was floating in the channel just beneath the surface of the water. His brother posted a compelling video on You Tube about the event and what he did to remove the timber to avert an unsuspecting boater from colliding with it.

The video can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtCPg2dCjJ8

Concern about the safety of the 90-year-old bascule bridge has been mounting as its condition continues to deteriorate. As we know, incidents of train-blocked grade crossings when the opening and closing mechanism fails and reports of wood and metal pieces falling from the underside of the bridge are becoming more prevalent.

Clearly, the safety of individuals in marine vessels and those walking and fishing on adjacent banks of the bridge is in peril. Once again, any threat to the health, safety and welfare of all who live, work, visit and play in the Village of Tequesta, neighboring communities and the Loxahatchee River is unacceptable.

It is clear that the Loxahatchee River train trestle bridge must be replaced or completely rebuilt and we will continue a vigorous campaign to impress that upon executives at All Aboard Florida and Florida East Coast Railway.

Best regards,

Abby Brennan

Mayor Village of Tequesta

345 Tequesta Drive Tequesta, FL 33469 Cell: (561) 339-0740 Office: (561) 768-0460 abrennan@tequesta.org

This is how AAF plans to deal with the deteriorating Loxahatchee Bridge, according to its Final Economic Impact Statement:

“Phase I of the Project would also affect moveable bridge closure times and vessel wait times on the New River in Fort Lauderdale, similar to the St. Lucie and Loxahatchee Bridges. The existing double-track drawbridge over the Loxahatchee River (also known as the Jupiter River), which is currently operated as a single-track bridge. For the Project, the out-of-service second track would be reconstructed. (Emphasis added)

That’s it.  Rather than deal with the deteriorating condition of the bridge, AAF is going to reconstruct a second track.

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