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Stuart RR Drawbridge Resumes Operating Schedule After Getting Struck by a Barge on Saturday


Stuart - Monday October 2, 2023: The Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) drawbridge in Stuart was back in operation Monday afternoon.

It got struck by a barge heading east down the St. Lucie River Saturday afternoon, shortly 2 p.m. The barge was being pushed by a towboat when it hit the northwest fender of the recently rehabilitated drawbridge.

The Coast Guard was notified and decided to suspend the operating schedule and keep the bridge in the down position until it could be inspected to ensure that the structural integrity of the bridge had not been damaged.

The Bridge operator reports that the fender was destroyed by the impact and will have to be replaced. Otherwise the operating schedule resumed Monday afternoon and passage is open to all marine traffic, except tugs and barges.

Barge and tug in the background
Martin County Sheriff's Office
Barge and tug in the background

Over the weekend, Brightline passenger trains and FEC container traffic continued to pass over the drawbridge, however marine traffic for any vessel higher than 6 feet was blocked and unable to pass under the drawbridge in the down position.

According to a Sunday news release from Brightline, the drawbridge would remain in the down position and the channel would remain closed through today, Monday October 2, at noon. Brightline said that updates on the resumption of the operating schedule would be provided via the bridge app and website and Brightline’s text alert system.

According to Brightline's website,, the bridge was back in operation Monday afternoon.