All Aboard Florida may cause a drop in revenue for Stuart businesses

STUART, FL -
We're taking closer look at the possible impact of All Aboard Florida.  The high speed rail service would run from Orlando to Miami and pass through the Treasure Coast and stopping in West Palm Beach.  But some people worry this project will force them out of business.

When the railroad bridge is up in Stuart, boats can easily navigate from the St. Lucie River to the Atlantic Ocean. When the alarm sounds the bridge slowly goes down so trains can pass.

"The railroad bridge is about a mile as the bird flies down the river here," says Bill Biggs.

Biggs runs the Riverwatch Marina in Stuart.  He's not against the project as a whole.

"We recognize the value of a high speed train and certainly freight traffic," says Biggs.

He just doesn't like the route which includes the railroad bridge.

"Huge impact," says Biggs.

All Aboard Florida would add 16 trains round trip every day. That's on top of the freight traffic. The company behind the project has said the bridge is only down a couple minutes each time but Biggs says people have waited an hour sometimes.

About 300 people dock their boats at the Riverwatch Marina. The attraction is its easy access to the ocean. However, Biggs believes if All Aboard Florida goes through that access will be delayed.

"We're not gonna have any customers," says Biggs, "You would not want to keep your boat here if you didn't have ocean access."

An online petition by a group called Florida Not All Aboard has 22,000 signatures.

 

Print this article Back to Top

Comments