June 10--Gov. Rick Scott on Monday sent a letter to Michael Reininger, All Aboard Florida president and chief development officer, listing several concerns and encouraging community input on the planned passenger rail service.
In his letter, Scott calls for extending the public comment period for a forthcoming report from the Federal Railroad Administration to 90 days from the already extended 75-day period All Aboard Florida has agreed to.
"This additional time will allow communities more opportunity to have their specific concerns addressed," Scott wrote to the company, which is set to connect Miami and Orlando with stops in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
Sixteen trains would make round trips along the route, and there are no planned stops on the Treasure Coast.
The Federal Railroad Administration's draft Environmental Impact Statement has been awaited by officials and residents along the Treasure Coast who hope to get a better idea of how the project will affect them.
Scott also asks for All Aboard Florida to take into account boaters' concerns about the train bridges over the Loxahatchee River in Tequesta and the St. Lucie River in Stuart.
Boaters and some local officials have said they are concerned the increase in rail traffic over the bridges will make it more difficult for marine traffic to travel those channels.
"Florida has over a thousand miles of coastline, and access to the water for boating is one of the things that make Florida so special," Scott writes.
Among other items in the letter, Scott says he has tasked Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad with meeting and hearing concerns from community leaders and lawmakers on All Aboard Florida.
"As you continue to outline your plans for All Aboard Florida, please be sensitive to the impact of additional rail traffic in the rail corridor to our communities, their home values and public safety," Scott writes.
Read the letter and comment to share your thoughts.
Check out our Shaping Our Future team's complete coverage of All Aboard Florida.
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