By Terri Parker WPBF NEWS
Plans are being made to break ground in south Florida before the end of the year
Engineers toured Vero Beach's train track crossings Tuesday as part of an inspection of all crossings for the first phase of All Aboard Florida’s project to bring rail transportation from Miami to Orlando.
Officials from All Aboard Florida, and Indian River County, along with other private engineers, visited the tracks.
Florida East Coast Industries spokesman Rusty Roberts said they are assessing what upgrades and changes will be needed to accommodate more than 30 passenger trains a day.
Roberts said opponents' concerns about the train traffic impacting drivers and affecting safety are not warranted.
"We know that our passenger train will only close this crossing for no more than 48 seconds," said Roberts. "Whereas a traffic light is 120 seconds or more, so there is no gridlock with regard to 48-second closings."
Roberts said after they analyze all the crossings they will prepare environmental impact statements and then hold public hearings.
He said all private financing is in place and they have applied for a federal loan that is still under consideration, but plan to break ground before the end of the year.