Stuart Railroad Drawbridge Schedule Modified Again to Allow for Repairs to Damaged Bumper
Stuart - Monday October 9, 2023: The U.S. Coast Guard has approved a modified operating schedule for the Florida East Coast Railway's (FEC) Stuart drawbridge in order to allow for repairs to the drawbridge bumper that was damaged by a barge on September 30th.
The barge was being pushed by a towboat, heading east down the St. Lucie River when it struck the fender of the recently rehabilitated drawbridge around 10:30 a.m. that Saturday morning. The damaged fender is on the northwest corner of the drawbridge.
A Marine Safety Information Bulletin issued Friday by the Coast Guard states that the drawbridge "fendering system suffered substantial damage" that is considered to be "a navigational hazard impeding the navigational channel."
As a result the Coast Guard has instructed all mariners to avoid any passing situations within the channel and follow a one-way traffic flow by proceeding in single file order through the passage when the drawbridge is raised.
A construction crew is on scene and scuba divers are part of the crew. Mariners are advised to follow the onsite directions of the construction crews and adhere to all 'diver down' restrictions.
The repair work began today, Monday October 9th and the work is tentatively scheduled to continue through October 27th. Tug and barge traffic will not be allowed passage during this period.
During this period the drawbridge will open for the following fixed periods:
- 6:55 a.m. through 7:10 a.m.
- 9:55 a.m. through 10:10 a.m.
- 12:55 p.m. through 1:10 p.m.
- 3:55 p.m. through 4:10 p.m.
In addition to these fixed opening periods, the drawbridge will provide a minimum 10-minute opening approximately every 60 minutes to relive the line of waiting vessels.
These times will vary depending upon the needs of the construction crew and divers.
Brightline service and FEC freight service is not expected to be interrupted by the modified operating schedule for the drawbridge.