The Triton


Coast Guard signs final rule for the New River Bridge


By Lucy Chabot Reed

After a six-month trial period last year, the U.S. Coast Guard signed a final rule on Aug. 22 for the Florida East Coast Railway railroad bridge that crosses the New River in downtown Ft. Lauderdale.

Effective Oct. 24, this rule requires the bridge operator to ensure that adequate notice of bridge closure times are available to the waterway traffic. It also changes the schedule from requiring openings “on demand” to an operating regulation requiring the bridge to be open no fewer than 60 minutes in every two-hour period.

The bridge became a sticking point for the high-speed train proposal from All Aboard Florida, which proposes to offer passenger service on the FEC railroad tracks from Miami to Orlando. The railroad crosses the New River downtown. Originally built in 1912 and rebuilt in 1978, the bridge takes several minutes to close and must be closed in advance of an approaching train. Adding passenger rail to the corridor would require more bridge closures, and concerned the marine industry. In its closed position, it has a vertical clearance of 4 feet at mean high water, requiring it to be open for nearly all marine traffic. It stayed open and only closed for train traffic, but the CFRs regulating this bridge permit it to be in the closed position, opening on signal for the passage of marine vessels.

The USCG aimed to change the rules regulating the bridge before passenger rail begins. All Aboard Florida would require an additional 16 closings of this bridge over the river.

Under the new rule, the bridge owner can continue to operate the bridge remotely with assistance from the onsite bridge tender. Additionally, due to what the USCG stated as a large number of concerns regarding the noise of the bridge horn blast, prior to a bridge closure, the rule states the horn will not be required since the bridge will be unmanned.

The USCG received 319 comments concerning the proposed rule. This rule, published in the Federal Register on Sept. 23, can be viewed by visiting and searching for “New River Ft. Lauderdale”.

About Lucy Chabot Reed

Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher and founding editor of The Triton.

View all posts by Lucy Chabot Reed →

Related Articles

Sultana receives major restoration

A major restoration of the 86-foot (26m) Feadship M/Y Sultana has been completed at Feadship in Holland.Launched as Din-Dina in 1969, the yacht was found abandoned in a French yard in 2007 by Dutch …

An open Cuba will rise yachting’s tide

An open Cuba will rise yachting’s tide

Despite the reality that private yachts and non-American crew can and do travel to Cuba, the recent change in travel restrictions for Americans may be the biggest boost yachting has seen since the …

Medical app launches

Arizona-based MedAire has launched an app to deliver medical and travel safety information to yacht crew. Users have access to hundreds of yacht destination information including medical and travel …

Crew Eye on board M/Y Freedom

Crew Eye on board M/Y Freedom

Time to swab the deck on board M/Y Freedom, a 138-foot Benetti docked in Deep Harbour Marina at Island Gardens, directly across the water from downtown and the cruise port in Miami. Deck officer …

FYBA honors brokers, names board

FYBA honors brokers, names board

Broker Skip Mansfield was honored Jan. 30 with the Florida Yacht Brokers Association’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. A licensed yacht salesman and charter broker at Sarasota Yacht & …

High winds, rain wreak havoc in Italy

High winds, rain wreak havoc in Italy

Strong winds and heavy rain ran over Italy this week, killing 11 people in landslides, rising floodwaters, tornadoes, fallen trees, and rough surf. Winds of up to 110 mph were reported and several …