Coast Guard sets drawbridge schedules

Q: Who is responsible for the bridge opening schedule on Southeast Third Avenue in downtown Fort Lauderdale? I have been held up by the opening of the bridge as many as four times in one hour between noon and 1 p.m.

Valerie Brown, Davie

A: The Coast Guard sets the schedule.

The drawbridges on the New River in Fort Lauderdale open on demand, with the exception of rush hour. Coast Guard rules state they "need not open" from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 4:30 to 6 p.m. weekdays.

But "need not open" doesn't mean they can't open during those hours. They do, especially at this time of the year, when many yachts return south.

Coast Guard regulations state the New River drawbridges are only supposed to open at rush hour for public vessels like a Coast Guard cutter, tugs towing other boats, or for vessels in distress such as a boat being pushed toward the bridge by the wind or current.

Q: Any word on the start of the Pembroke Road overpass at Interstate 75?

Ray Bennici, Pembroke Pines

A: The overpass will be built as part of the I-75/Palmetto Expressway express lanes project.

The project will be split up in phases, with work on the first section on I-75 from north of Griffin Road to the new I-595 reversible lanes set to begin early next year.

The Pembroke Road work, which will include a bridge spanning the highway but not an interchange, will be built at the same time work is underway on I-75 from south of Miramar Parkway to south of Sheridan Street. By early 2015, all segments are expected to be under construction, with completion set for 2018.

For more information, go to 75-express.com or palmettoexpress.com.

Q: Are there other station sites being considered for All Aboard Florida's passenger service between Miami and Orlando, other than the four already announced?

Mark Lasman, Boca Raton

A: No, and that's because the more stations added to the line, the more time it takes to make the 3-hour train trip between Miami and Orlando.

But if commuter service like Tri-Rail is ever introduced to the Florida East Coast Railway tracks, you can expect more stations to pop up in addition to those for All Aboard Florida.

The four stations include one in downtown Fort Lauderdale, on a 2.7-acre site north of Broward Boulevard, west of the Florida East Coast Railway tracks, and south of Northwest Second Street. In downtown Miami, the largest of the four stations will be built on mostly vacant land between the Government Center and Overtown Metrorail stations. The West Palm Beach station would occupy two acres north of City Place and west of the Clematis Street entertainment district. The fourth station will be at Orlando International Airport.

mturnbell@tribune.com, 954-356-4155, Twitter @MikeTurnpike

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