Stuart, Fla. - U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today called on the U.S. Coast Guard to protect boater access at the St. Lucie River railroad bridge as changes are proposed to accommodate Brightline’s expansion.   

In a letter to Rear Admiral Brendan McPherson, Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Seventh District, Rep. Mast expressed his concern that boaters' access will be severely impaired by increased rail traffic and called on the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure that the bridge is closed no more than 30 minutes combined for any 120-minute period.

“Water - whether it's for commerce or recreation - is a cornerstone of life on the Treasure Coast, and it’s something that must be protected,” Rep. Mast said. “This potential change in the bridge’s operations prioritizes rail traffic over boat traffic, and that’s not right.  Moreover, it could jeopardize emergency operations and inhibit first responders.  The Coast Guard must protect the right of way for boaters.” 

The U.S. Coast Guard is also currently accepting public comments.  Those wishing to provide comments can find information on how to do so at

The full text of the letter can be read here