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U.S. Coast Guard Approves Brightline’s Request to Rehabilitate the St. Lucie River Railroad Bridge
STUART, Fla (February 21, 2023) – Brightline has received approval from the U.S. Coast Guard to temporarily close the navigation channel at the railroad drawbridge over the St. Lucie River in Stuart, to complete rehabilitation work. The rehabilitation will begin with nighttime closures in April and include a subsequent 21-day navigation channel closure, with the drawbridge in the down position, starting May 1 to improve the bridge’s operating reliability. During the 21-day closure, Brightline crews will work around the clock, 24/7, to complete the work. Brightline officials have stated the railroad bridge rehabilitation is one of the final pieces of its Orlando expansion project.
The rehabilitation of the bridge includes replacement of the mechanical components, electrical and control components, and machining of the four trunnions in place. (Trunnions are the axles on which the drawbridge rotates.) Due to the type of construction work and necessary safety precautions, rehabilitation of the drawbridge will require temporary closures of the navigation channel impacting the drawbridge operations. (See full schedule below.)
Brightline will implement several mitigation measures prior to beginning train service to Orlando, including a real-time bridge opening and closure app, countdown clock at the bridge and a bridge monitor. Construction of the bridge monitor house is also currently underway and will not impact the navigation channel.
“The St. Lucie River bridge represents one of the final construction projects along our Orlando extension,” said Michael Cegelis, Executive Vice President, Rail Infrastructure and Development for Brightline. “This work is necessary to assure that the bascule span can open reliably for marine traffic and close for freight and high-speed passenger rail. The new mechanical and electrical systems will greatly reduce the risk of unplanned closures that would impact all three user groups.”
Brightline’s bridge work is being coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast, federal and state agencies, the Florida East Coast Railway as well as local counties and municipalities and law enforcement organizations. Brightline’s current schedule for the work came about after receiving feedback from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast and local law enforcement agencies. Notice of the work will be included in the USCG Local Notice to Mariners. The bridge rehabilitation project, led by contractor Scott Bridge Company, is expected to be complete by summer of 2023.
Brightline will communicate information to the public through a variety of channels including fixed and variable message signs along the channel, updates through Twitter (https://twitter.com/GoBrightline), the Brightline website (http://www.gobrightline.com/railroad-construction) and via Brightline’s text alert message system.
Sign up for text alerts for navigation channel schedule updates: text “STL” to 888-384-0037.
St. Lucie River Railroad Bridge Work Schedule
- Overnight closures: 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Sunday April, 16 to Thursday, April 27
Drawbridge to remain in the down position overnight; no boat passage.
Navigation channel open daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (subject to normal train traffic).
Drawbridge returns to normal operations 6 a.m., Friday, April 28.
- Full Closure – 6 a.m., Monday, May 1 to 6 a.m., Monday, May 22
Navigation channel full closure (drawbridge to remain in the down position, no boat passage).
Brightline crews will work 24/7.
- Overnight closures: 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Monday, May 22 to Sunday, May 28
Drawbridge to remain in the down position overnight, no boat passage.
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