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ICW New Bridge News

By Tom Neale - Published July 24, 2004 - Viewed 3033 times

ICW New Bridge News

Many of you cruise in areas where there are no bridges to worry about. They either don’t exist or are high-rise. But in some areas of the east coast, bridges can be a serious problem for boaters, even to those with vessels requiring little vertical clearance. The following recent developments in Florida will be of great importance to those of you heading south this fall, and to those of you living in the area. They also should alert everyone else that, either you’re lucky to boat in an area where you don’t have bridges, or that you’d better be pro-active when local politicians, whose main constituency seems to be the road warrior set, start to change schedules. They often do so without adequate understanding or appreciation of issues faced by waterborne traffic.

After more than a year of testing schedules, public hearings and periods for written public response, the following opening schedule for the Palm Beach County Bridges goes into effect on July 19, 2004. The good news is that there are no longer any rush hour, special weekend or seasonal restrictions. The bad news is that some previously unrestricted bridges are now on schedules. This schedule is in force 24/7, and it is final.

• Indiantown Road Bridge (SR 706), Mile 1006.2, Jupiter: Hour and half-hour
• Donald Ross Bridge, Mile 1009.3, North Palm Beach: Hour and half-hour
• PGA Boulevard Bridge, Mile 1012.6, North Palm Beach: Hour and half-hour
• Parker Bridge (US-1), Mile 1013.7, Riviera Beach: Quarter and three-quarter hour
• Flagler Memorial Bridge (SR A1A), Mile 1020.8, Palm Beach: Quarter and three-quarter hour
• Royal Park Bridge (SR 704), Mile 1022.6, Palm Beach: Hour and half-hour (see below)
• Southern Boulevard Bridge (SR 700/80), Mile 1024.7, Palm Beach: Hour and half-hour
• Lantana Bridge (Ocean Avenue), Mile 1031.0, Lantana: Hour and half-hour
• Ocean Avenue Bridge, Mile 1035.0, Boynton Beach: Hour and half-hour
• Atlantic Avenue Bridge (SR 806), Mile 1039.6, Delray Beach: Quarter and three-quarter-hour
• Linton Boulevard Bridge, Mile 1041.1, Delray Beach: Hour and half-hour
• Spanish River Road Bridge, Mile 1044.9, Boca Raton: Hour and half-hour
• Palmetto Park Bridge, Mile 1047.5, Boca Raton: Hour and half-hour
• Camino Real Bridge, Mile 1048.2, Boca Raton: Hour, twenty minutes past the hour and forty minutes past the hour

The following Palm Beach County bridges continue to open on request:
• Jupiter Lighthouse Bridge (CR 707), Mile 1004.1
• Jupiter Federal Bridge (US-1), Mile 1004.8
• Lake Avenue Bridge, Mile 1028.8
• Woolbright Road Bridge (SE 15th St.), Mile 1035.9
• George Bush Boulevard Bridge, Mile 1038

The Royal Park Bridge, Mile 1022.6, continues under construction with single leaf operation till Oct. 1, 2004. Maximum beam for passage is 35 ft. Varied closure periods will be in effect as well as fewer openings until Oct. 1. The detailed schedule can be found at www. navcen.uscg.gov/lnm/d7. Click on the July Monthly (27-04).

While not in Palm Beach County, it should also be noted that as of May 17, the Hobe Sound Bridge, Mile 995.9, previously open on request, now opens on the hour, 20, and 40 minutes, between 7am and 6 pm.

Also in Florida, we can expect high-rise replacement bridges to be begun soon at the Indian River Bridge Mile 984.9 (aka Sewall Point Bridge, Ernest Lyons Bridge, SR A1A) and the Max Brewer Bridge in Titusville, Mile 878.9. Look for a new opening bridge on the Banana River to replace the Mathers Bridge, just north of the dragon. And finally complicated plans have been approved to repair the aging historic Bridge of Lions, Mile 777.9, in St. Augustine, including the construction of a temporary bridge for use during repairs.

The 7th District, USCG has informed me that Broward County (Ft Lauderdale area) and Miami/Dade will go through a trial schedule similar to the process undertaken in Palm Beach County to arrive at a new schedule for opening bridges in those counties.

In South Carolina there will soon be another high-rise bridge crossing the ICW in the Myrtle Beach area, the fifth new bridge crossing within the past 5 years or so in this quickly developing area.

Copyright 2004-2005 Tom Neale

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