Concerns are growing in Martin County over the potential impact of increased train service on the St. Lucie Railroad Bridge. Boaters in the area are worried that the upcoming ramped-up Brightline schedule to Orlando will have negative consequences for their businesses. Scott Watson, the owner of Indiantown Marina located about 20 miles west of the bridge, expressed his concerns about the situation.
Watson highlighted the challenging conditions that boaters already face, including winds, currents, and tides that are constantly changing. He explained that when the window to pass through the bridge is tightened, it means that more traffic will be passing through in a shorter period of time. According to Watson, this is not a favorable situation for boaters and could potentially harm their businesses.
Brightline plans to double its trips to Orlando to a total of 30 each day, starting next week. Katie Mitzner, the director of public affairs for Brightline, emphasized that this expansion will provide passengers with additional travel options. However, it also means that the drawbridge will be closed more frequently than before.
In response to the concerns raised by Watson and other boaters, Brightline assured that mariners have access to the bridge schedule app, allowing them to stay informed about bridge closures. They can also sign up for text alerts through Brightline to receive the latest information. Despite these measures, Watson stated that he is prepared to involve the Coast Guard if necessary to further adjust the bridge schedule.
The potential impact of the increased train service on boaters’ businesses is a significant concern. Watson acknowledged that the existing Brightline trains already cause inconveniences for boaters, and he fears that the additional service will exacerbate the situation. He emphasized the need to avoid creating such a significant inconvenience that people are deterred from visiting their facilities.
Brightline recently extended its service from West Palm Beach to Orlando on September 22. As the community prepares for the upcoming increase in train service, boaters and business owners are hopeful that their concerns will be addressed and that measures will be taken to minimize the impact on their livelihoods.