The US Coast Guard 7th District is now accepting feedback from all boaters.
As you may or may not know, there's a company from NY who's planning to use the mostly dormant FEC tracks from Miami to Cocoa Beach for a high speed passenger route- to run 32 trains daily ,up and running by 2015. What's more secret is that it's real intended use is for freight trains hauling the containers coming in on the "Post Panamax" ships from China that will arrive when the Panama Canal is finished being widened next year. They expect to run 20 freight trains up to 2 miles each (another track or TWO are proposed) 24 hours a day. The concern of all boating interests is that when the bridges are closed there's only 7' of clearance. One of the bridges was built in 1925 and it takes 20 minutes to open and close per train. Do the math on 52 trains a day.
ALL are old and wood, and no, they're not planning on replacing them.
It's not only the boating traffic that will be cut off, these tracks also run past many very (now) popular marinas, and split many towns such as Stuart, Ft. Pierce, Hollywood, Delray Beach in half. Noise -just imagine the constant noise of the horns from these trains.
Imagine IF anybody will want to stay in these marinas, nor wait for for bridges.
Get out your map app, and scan along these tracks from down town Miami to Cocoa Beach Florida and SEE where they go. Flagler built these tracks parallel to the waterway, so it's awfully close. ALL the valuable real estate are to the east of these tracks, most marina's and services are to the west.
Yes-this WILL effectively stop the Cross Florida waterway from Stuart to Ft. Myers.
The REALITY is that these towns and waterways were established and being actively used LONG before Henry Flagler built these tracks. They were given permission to cross our waterways with opening bridges, but now they're trying to rewrite history saying that THEY were here first, and WE are only being allowed to cross their tracks out of the goodness of their hearts. NOT TRUE. Boats were here FIRST.
READ- SIGN. Send in your emails. GO TO THE MEETINGS IN YOUR AREAS.
The Marine interests of Martin County are ALL on top of this, for some reason those on the New River in Ft. Lauderdale are quiet. Maybe they don't know?