All Aboard Florida staff to begin inspecting tracks in Indian River County

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The people proposing high-speed passenger rail service through Indian River County are going to take a close look at the tracks starting Tuesday.

Members of All Aboard Florida, which wants to send trains from Miami to Orlando, will join Federal Railroad Administration and Florida Department of Transportation officials for a diagnostic walk-through of the tracks in Indian River County on Tuesday and Wednesday.

They’ll review conditions to determine what safety measures the 32 county crossings need for the trains to operate at the intended speed, expected to be up to 110 mph.

“They’ll be walking each crossing,” said Indian River County Metropolitan Planning Organization staff director Phil Matson.

Residents and some elected officials are opposed to the passenger rail plan because it would bring 32 more trains daily through Indian River, posing a safety hazard and a hassle to motorists. The trains will not be stopping in Indian River or anywhere on the Treasure Coast.

Officials at All Aboard Florida said the walk-throughs are not public events, but have invited technical professionals from Vero Beach, Sebastian and the county to join them, Matson said. The county will have staff from its engineering, surveying and environmental departments at the crossings in unincorporated parts of the county.

No traffic delays are expected from the walk-through, he said.

The study starts Tuesday morning in the south end of the county and progresses north. The groups resumes Wednesday morning in Winter Beach and will continue into Brevard County in the afternoon.

Local officials have said they’re waiting on the release of the federal environmental impact study on the project.

County officials said the report may not be out until this fall. Matson said the feedback process which follows the release will allow the county a significant opportunity to have a voice on the project.

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