Martin County response to All Aboard Florida impact statement: Much Information lacking

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 12:30pm

By Lisa Broadt , TCPalm                                                                  

Martin County will insist on accountability from the Federal Railroad Administration in its oversight of an All Aboard Florida report meant to evaluate potential impacts of the proposed high-speed, private rail service.

The county’s written response to the environmental impact statement — approved by the County Commission Tuesday — will ask the railroad administration for changes including additional information on track crossings and revised information on marine traffic, according to Martin County Deputy Engineering Director Terry Rauth.

Rauth, in a presentation to the commission, said her concerns range from specific data to the report’s most basic grounds, including the railroad administration’s conclusion that All Aboard Florida’s potential benefits to South Florida offset potential damages to the Treasure Coast.

The impact statement is far from comprehensive, according to Rauth. Track and grade crossing construction plans in the statement are only 30 percent complete, and 90-percent plans will not be released until after the Dec. 3 commenting deadline, Rauth said she was told by Senior Principal Engineer for AMEC Environment & Infrastructure UK Limited and All Aboard consultant Charlene Stroehlen at an informational meeting Oct. 30.