Where We Stand:

The marine industry clusters 121,000 middle class jobs in Broward County and 149,000 jobs regionally in maritime businesses promoting boating lifestyles from family cruising and fishing to yachts. The goods and services that sustain them create an economic output of $9.7 billion in Broward County and $12.5 billion regionally.

The New River Bascule bridge just south of Andrews Avenue, utilized traditionally for freight traffic, is also used as a passenger rail corridor for Brightline. To this point, we have been able to work with all interested parties to make sure that marine traffic keeps moving. However, discussions about a commuter rail system known as Coastal Link has created concern that it would negatively impact marine traffic.

Coastal Link would create a commuter rail with stops in Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach. Details are being worked out for access to the corridor owned by Florida East Coast Railway.

A feasibility study was requested by Broward County from the Florida Department of Transportation for an additional solution to traverse the New River which would allow for marine traffic to operate. Commuter rail plays an

important role within the County’s overall strategy for improving transportation and mobility at the local and regional level. The Broward Commuter Rail Project is a commuter rail system like Tri-Rail and SunRail that would operate on the FEC railroad corridor. It will provide commuter rail access to the densely populated coastal municipalities in Broward County and Miami-Dade County. Miami-Dade is advancing the Northeast Corridor commuter rail project on the FEC corridor. Compared to the Brightline intercity passenger rail service, commuter rail service has more frequent stops with two-to-five-mile station spacing. Commuter rail lends itself to shorter trips, facilitates commuting, shopping and recreation. The project will connect to the planned premium east-west transit corridors on Broward Boulevard and throughout Broward County.

The Broward County Commission anticipates to make a decision on a locally preferred alternative (LPA) sometime in 2022. Regardless of what is selected as the LPA, we will require federal funding to complete the project coupled with local commitments. Cost of construction ranges from $444 million and $98 million in right-of-way to $1.8 billion and $150 million in right-of-way (this does not include a low-level bridge because of the marine traffic issue).

What We Need:

Our Washington Summit position is in support of the construction of a tunnel, if it is economically feasible, as it promotes the unobstructed mobility of regional commuter rail while keeping communities united. If we are unable to secure federal funding for a tunnel option, we request funding for a 55-foot bascule bridge.