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Soundings Trade Only: Opposition mounts against Florida rail bridge plans November 22, 2014

Written by Jim Flannery

Soundings Trade Only

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida is urging the region’s marine interests to tell the Federal Railroad Administration that they are not at all on board with the proposed All Aboard Florida high-speed passenger rail service from Miami to Orlando.

The service, which would start in Miami and end at Orlando International Airport with intermediate stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, threatens to tie up boat traffic at three South Florida bridges over waterways that are the lifeblood of an industry that generates annual wages totaling $4.1 billion and delivers a gross output of $11.5 billion a year in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

“Seventy-five percent of South Florida’s recreational vessel repair facilities are upstream from the bridges to be used by [All Aboard Florida],” a MIASF white paper said of the $1.5 billion “express” rail service proposed for 195 miles of the Florida East Coast Railroad corridor from Miami to Cocoa and a new rail corridor on state-owned right of way along east-west Route 528 from Cocoa to Orlando.

The MIASF is urging businesses and their employees to comment on the proposal as presented in an environmental impact statement dated in September.

Comments can be emailed to John Winkle at AAF_comments@vhb.com or posted by regular mail to John Winkle, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Room W38-311, Washington, D.C. 20590. Comments must be received by December 3.

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Marine Industries Association of South Florida. 221 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Phone: 954.524.2733