Village of Tequesta reacts to All Aboard Florida plan

TEQUESTA, Fla. - Jim Jones owns an ice cream shop on u.s. 1 in Tequesta, not far from the railroad tracks. He's heard about All Aboard Florida.

Jones said, "The problem is the railroad it takes a long time to go up and a long time to go down."

The All Aboard system would send more trains through the area, causing the A-1-A railroad bridge to be down more often, affecting boat travel.

The Tequesta Fire Rescue Department is worried as well, but for a more important reason. Its medical boat speeds out when people are injured in the water.

"Our rescue boat comes underneath this bridge whenever there is an incident west of the train bridge. The bridge comes down about 10 to 15 minutes before the train comes through. and it stays down for about 5 minutes until the train comes through. During that time, we can't get through nor can anyone else, Peter Allen with the department told  NewsChannel 5."

Allen added, "In a drowning or in a cardiac arrest every minute is critical."

Village officials are asking state leaders for help to reduce All Aboard Florida's impact.

"I think at this point the Village is concerned is that we mitigate the effect as much as possible. There is very little that we can do, but we are hoping that someone does something to reduce the impact this will have on the safety of our residents," said Allen.
An All Aboard Florida representative sent NewsChannel 5 the statement below.

"All Aboard Florida is committed to maintaining optimum safety levels once the passenger service is implemented.
We have been working and meeting with Mayor Abby Brennan of Tequesta and other community stakeholders in an effort to understand all concerns and identify solutions that would allow for both marine and rail to co-exist.
As the official regulatory agency responsible for oversight over the bridges, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the U.S. Coast Guard are conducting a thorough review and analysis of the potential impacts the proposed passenger rail service will have. The results will be published by the FRA when it releases the Draft Environmental Impact Statement this summer."