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Brightline to replace Loxahatchee River bridge


Old Loxahatchee River bridge being replaced by Brightline.

Photo by Brightline


Brightline is installing a new, two-track railroad drawbridge over the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, replacing a 583-foot-long, one-track bridge from the 1920s.


The drawbridge represents an important connection between South Florida and Central Florida. The bridge is one of two movable bridges in Brightline’s $2.6 billion Orlando expansion, which began in 2019. Brightline also is replacing the bridge’s electrical system and operating machinery.


“Considerable work was required on the nearly 100-year-old structure to prepare it for high-speed passenger rail,” said Michael Cegelis, the executive vice president of rail infrastructure and development at Brightline. “This new structure is another important example of the significant investment Brightline is making to improve Florida’s transportation infrastructure.”


The ultimate goal of the bridge project is to improve reliability and efficiency.


The project has inconvenienced boaters by temporarily closing the river to marine traffic. Through May 31, the bridge will be closed except for two periods a day to allow boat traffic.


When the project is complete, a navigation span on the south end of the bridge will allow larger vessels to pass through even when the drawbridge isn’t open.


Brightline is building the bridge in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Jupiter Inlet, the Florida East Coast Railway and various municipalities. The company provides updates on the project through its website, Twitter and a text alert system, which you can join by texting “LOX” to 888-384-0037.


Brightline’s overall expansion into Orlando is expected to be completed by late this year.


Brightline markets itself as the only “eco-friendly intercity rail” in the United States. It also is the first private passenger rail system to launch in the country in 100 years. In 2020, Brightline was recognized by Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies in the travel sector.


The company has train stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

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