The advent of Brightline train service through Fort Lauderdale has required the Florida East Coast to close a drawbridge bridge over the New River more frequently than before. The bridge remains open a lot of the time to allow boat traffic to pass, but the Brightline trains, along with FEC’s freight trains, and the need to close the bridge for them, has planners thinking that a tunnel under the New River might be a good idea.
The expense of one, though, is staggering. The cost to build it would be $3.3 billion. The cost to maintain it would be $8.2 billion annually.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, those who operate boats on the New River are tired of the delays while trains pass.
Dean Trantalis, mayor of Fort Lauderdale, prefers a tunnel under the river rather than a larger bridge over it. A larger bridge “would create a physical barrier down the middle of the city. And, it would further cement the cultural and psychological divide between this side of the tracks and the other side of the tracks.”
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