Duane Lang, Port St. Lucie Article Source here
Letter: All Aboard Florida would present serious dilemma at drawbridge
Federal law mandates that navigable waterways will not be blocked to vessel traffic. As a captain who has passed through the 48-foot-wide Stuart railroad bridge opening with a 140-foot by 45-foot barge with 1,000 tons of cargo onboard and the tide running strong behind the tug/barge unit, it is apparent that the bridge has to be open well in advance of going through.
Commercial vessels have priority for bridges to open. If the bridge fails to open on request by a commercial vessel due to an AAF train coming across the bridge, it is evident that lawsuits will result and right of way be challenged in federal court.
And Citizens Against The Train Agree
Safety concerns abound for All Aboard Florida. Thank you, Sir, for calling attention to this navigation matter. AAF should not be railroaded through without all safety concerns being properly addressed. Clearly, the more AAF issues that arise, the more apparent it is that the tracks must be moved off the water, away from the hearts of downtowns, and away from the 340+ at-grade crossings/ intersections with vehicles and pedestrians along the proposed AAF corridor.
Certainly it is easier for the train to stop than a heavily laden commercial vessel under conditions as stated above.
Exactly who will have the right of way, trains or vessels? Federal regulatory agencies have to weigh in on the AAF plan, which will undoubtedly require changes in federal laws before it can become operational, a lengthy proposition.