Virgin to Build Miami Station for Cruise Ship Transfers

Virgin Trains USA this week said it would launch a $53.3 million station project in Miami that will steer passengers toward cruise ships and trains bound for Disney World.

To funnel cruise ship passengers, Virgin will build a station on land owned by PortMiami.

But taking passengers to Disney World will hinge on completion of an extension to Orlando that Virgin USA President Patrick Goddard said is expected to be completed in about three years.

The new station in Miami for cruise ship passengers is expected to cost $14.4 million and have 20,500 square feet.

Miami-Dade County will invest $5.4 million into that project and in return expects to receive $49 million in rent and passenger fees over 30 years.
Virgin said that in preparation for the expansion to Orlando it will spend $35 million to buy another trainset.

In a related development, Virgin is also planning to replace Florida East Coast’s single-track, 94-year-old drawbridge over the St. Lucie River at Stuart, Florida, with a double-track lift bridge.

The new bridge will cost $100 million and be 180 feet in length. The existing bridge is 50 feet.

The longer length will allow boats to pass each other in each direction beneath the bridge.

The vertical clearance for marine traffic when the bridge is closed will be 18 feet. The clearance of the existing bridge is 6.5 feet.

The additional clearance is expected to reduce the need to raise the bridge for pleasure boats.

The new bridge is expected to open around the time the extension to Orlando is completed.

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