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BRIGHTLINE REPLACEMENT OF LOXAHATCHEE RIVER RAILROAD DRAWBRIDGE TO IMPROVE LONG TERM OPERATIONS, BRING SHORT TERM IMPACTS TO BOATERS

Mariner Community is encouraged to text “LOX” to 888-384-0037 for schedule updates and information

ORLANDO, Fla. – Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail in America, will complete a critical piece of its $2.7B Orlando expansion project with the installation of a new railroad drawbridge over the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, Fla. The old drawbridge, built in 1926, will be replaced with a brand-new structure that will bring improved reliability and efficiency to the bridge, which carries trains across a popular navigation channel in Palm Beach County. 

As one of two movable bridge structures on Brightline’s Orlando expansion project, the drawbridge represents a critical connection between South Florida and Central Florida.  Due to the type of construction work and necessary safety precautions, installation of the new drawbridge will require temporary closure of the navigation channel, impacting the drawbridge opening schedule over a seven-week period in April and May. 

Brightline is also rehabilitating the entire 583-foot-long Loxahatchee River bridge with full replacement of the electrical system and operating machinery and the addition of a second track.  

Once complete, boaters will see the benefits including improved dependability of bridge openings and closings and additional clearance for small watercraft. A new small craft navigation span is being added at the south end of the bridge, increasing the vertical clearance by 14 inches and allowing more vessels to pass without the need to open the drawbridge. 

“The Loxahatchee River bridge represents one of the more complex construction projects along our Orlando extension,” said Michael Cegelis, Executive Vice President, Rail Infrastructure and Development for Brightline. “Considerable work was required on the nearly 100-year-old structure to prepare it for high-speed passenger rail. This new structure is another important example of the significant investment Brightline is making to improve Florida’s transportation infrastructure.”

Installation of the new drawbridge will require multiple barges and cranes in the navigation channel. The structure will be loaded onto barges and floated into place, blocking the waterway from boat traffic. At the start and end of the 52-day project, no boat traffic will be allowed to pass and freight traffic will be briefly suspended. During the 6-week work period in between, the temporary span for the railroad bridge will be lifted out two times a day to accommodate the busy waterway and let boats pass. 

Brightline’s bridge work is being coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Jupiter Inlet District, the Florida East Coast Railway and local municipalities and will be included in the USCG Local Notice to Mariners. The clearance improvement project is made in collaboration with the Jupiter Inlet District. The bridge rehabilitation project, led by contractor Scott Bridge Company, is expected to be complete in late 2022. 

Brightline will communicate information to the public through a variety of channels including fixed and variable message signs along the channel, updates through  Twitter, the Brightline website and via Brightline’s text alert message system.

Sign up for text alerts for navigation channel schedule updates: text “LOX” to 888-384-0037.

Loxahatchee River Railroad Bridge Work Schedule 

Sunday, April 10 to Wednesday, May 25

12:01 a.m., Sunday, April 10 to 5:59 a.m., Monday, April 11

Navigation channel full closure (drawbridge to remain in the down position, no boat passage).
 

6 a.m., Monday, April 11 to 6 a.m., Saturday, May 21

Navigation channel full closure, daily one-hour openings in the morning and afternoon. 

  • Daily channel openings: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. 
  • Openings could be delayed up to 15 minutes for train schedules.
  • Openings will last for a full hour.

12:01 a.m., Sunday, May 22 to 5:59 a.m., Wednesday, May 25 

Navigation channel full closure (drawbridge to remain in the down position, no boat passage).

Overnight closures: 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., Wednesday evening, May 25 to Tuesday morning, May 31

Navigation channel open daily from 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.

About Brightline 

Brightline is the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, high-speed rail service in America. The company currently operates between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida and is scheduled to complete construction to the Orlando International Airport by the end of 2022. Brightline was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road. Brightline plans to bring its award-winning service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive, with immediate plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California. For more information, visit www.gobrightline.com and follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

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