STUART, Fla. — Concerns continue in Martin County over how often the St. Lucie Railroad Bridge will be closed. Boaters worry that next week’s ramped-up Brightline schedule to Orlando will be bad for business.
Scott Watson owns Indiantown Marina about 20 miles west of the bridge.
"You’ve got the winds, you've got currents, you've got tides that run constantly," she said. "When you tighten the window to pass through that bridge that means that more traffic is going to be passing through in a shorter period of time. It’s not a good situation.”
Brightline to double Orlando train service to 30 each day
So far Brightline bridge closures haven’t impacted Watson's business, but he's worried that will change come next week when Brightline doubles trips to Orlando to 30. "I’m a little bit worried about what’s to come when they start adding more trains," he said.
"This translates into 15 trains total that will be traveling out of Orlando each day and then out of Miami headed to Orlando each day," Katie Mitzner, director of public affairs for Brightline, said. This gives our passengers additional options.”
It also means the drawbridge will be down more often than it has been.
"We already know that it’s going to create obstructions and create inconveniences for boaters what we don’t want is to create an inconvenience so large that people don’t want to come to our facility," Watson said.
WPTV brought his concerns to Brightline, and responded: "the mariners now have this information at their fingertips through the bridge schedule app they can also sign up for text alerts through Brightline, so there are many different ways that they can get the latest information on when the bridge is going to be up or down."
However, Watson said he’s prepared to ask the Coast Guard to make further adjustments if the current bridge schedule doesn’t work.
Brightline extended service past West Palm Beach to Orlando on Sept. 22.