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Call to Action - MIATC


Call to Action

To: MIATC Supporters
From: Dan Romence, Chairman, MIATC Bridge Committee
RE: USCG Comment Period Notification of inquiry (NOI) - Florida East Coast Railroad Bridge 7.4
As the Chairman of the Marine Industries of the Treasure Coast Railroad Bridge Committee, I am writing to you to request your assistance in providing a response to the US Coast Guard Notification of Inquiry (NOI) comment period that is currently seeking information and comments from the public on proposed changes to the Florida East Coast Railroad drawbridge operating regulations. The comment period closes on July 25th, 2022.
Below you will find the letter prepared for the MIATC by the Bridge Committee. Our letter focuses on safety in navigation for the marine community, equitable use of the bridge channel, the impact of public boating and the marine industry on the local economy, and the importance of the waterway to the broader marine community in general. In our letter, we request their consideration of two key issues when creating the new regulation, extended hours for marine traffic to pass during daylight hours and predictability of schedule.
In your submission, we request that you focus on safety in the navigation of this area and that you include as much personal information in your responses as possible. Individual responses and observations will help the Coast Guard to develop the right regulation for the marine industry and the local community.
The NOI requests the public response to the following questions:
  1. Do you currently transit through the FEC Railroad Bridge crossing the Okeechobee Waterway, mile 7.4, at Stuart Florida?
  2. How often do you transit this waterway?
  3. If railway traffic impedes your navigation of this area, how long are you normally delayed?
  4. How would you propose to regulate the balance of railway and maritime traffic in this area?
  5. What challenges have you experienced when transiting this area due to these bridges and/or railway activity?
  6. At what frequency and duration should the drawbridge openings occur in order to meet the needs of navigation?
  7. Should the SR707 (Dixie Hwy) Bridge opening schedule mirror the operating schedule of the FEC Railroad Bridge?
You can submit your letter or comment using this link:
You can also read the revised notice of inquiry and all the other comments that have been made and posted on that site. There are also related documents that were posted by the US Coast Guard such as Memorandum from USCG Captain Michael R. Gesele noting the following:
“The United States Coast Guard has the duty and responsibility to ensure drawbridge regulations meet the reasonable needs of navigation in a balanced matter to accommodate, to the greatest practical extent, the needs of all modes of transportation to include highway, rail, and marine traffic. Based on prior feedback and engagement with the maritime stakeholders, the Coast Guard has found that one of the best ways to meet the needs of navigation is to regulate drawbridges on an operating schedule that provides set times and acceptable amounts of time for maritime traffic to pass.”
It is critical that the boating community and the marine industry be well represented in this public comment period, and that is why we are asking you to urgently submit a response to the portal.
Dan Romence
MIATC Board of Directors
View Letter

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