Not Everyone Is Happy About Brightline's Future Expansion To Orlando


Photo: CBS 12

There won't be any test runs of a Brightline train from Palm Beach through Brevard Counties on Wednesday, and you won't hear complaints from some on the Treasure Coast.

"They're pushing something upon us that frankly we're not thrilled about."

Stuart Mayor Merritt Matheson tells CBS 12 News that the expansion of the high-speed rail line to Orlando next year will mean several trains running over an aging railroad bridge in his city.

"This letter was a call for help that really this is a major issue for the City of Stuart and at bare minimum, we need a new rail bridge."

The mayor's concerned about a bridge that was built in the 1950's, and reconstructed in 2002. But it got a passing grade from the Florida Department of Transportation in January of 2021 and Brightline conducted a study last year and was given the go ahead.

He's also concerned about boat traffic.

"We're getting no benefit at all. We're not getting a station. We're not getting anything but increased rail traffic and now our waterways are being bisected."

The next train with no passengers is set to travel the 130 miles between West Palm Beach and Cocoa at 7 a.m. on Thursday. These daily round-trips are meant to provide training to conductors and engineers.

Brightline plans to have trains open for passengers running from Miami to Orlando in early 2023.

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