Posts Tagged ‘Florida Department of Transportation’

Brightline, Florida Resume Talks Over Tampa Extension

March 5, 2021

The Florida Department of Transportation and Brightline have resumed talks about the latter’s proposal to extend its route to Tampa.

Brightline has proposed building the Tampa extension from Orlando in the median of Florida Route 417 and Interstate 4.

Negotiations between the two parties had been suspended in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDOT has asked Brightline to address a number of issues including a method to recover toll revenue lost because of Brightline’s construction and operation.

The agency also has questions about a resolution from Orlando’s airport authority supporting the Orlando-Tampa service and execution of an agreement meeting the requirements for use of the Central Florida Rail Corridor.

Brightline was asked to address these matters by July 31.

Brightline Gets OK to Seek Land Lease

December 4, 2018

Brightline has received a green light from the Florida Department of Transportation to seek a lease of land to be used for a proposed Orland-Tampa intercity rail service route.

The private passenger carrier will have 90 days to negotiate the lease with the Central Florida Expressway Authority for land adjacent to Interstate 4.

Brightline was the only company that submitted a proposal to the state to operate a rail passenger service between the two cities, which are 88 miles apart.

The right of way will be 44 feet wide footprint and would extend from Orlando International Airport through Osceola and Polk counties to downtown Tampa.

Intermediate stations would be established in Celebration and Lakeland, Florida.

The passenger carrier must also hold talks with utilities, local land owners and leaders of local communities along the route.

Amtrak’s Silver Star currently provides service between Orlando and Tampa.

Brightline Wants to Expand to Tampa

June 30, 2018

Florida-based Brightline plans to submit a proposal for development of a higher-speed rail line between Orlando and Tampa, Florida.

Brightline’s interest in the service followed an announcement by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Central Florida Expressway Authority that they have started the process of considering proposals for construction and operation of a rail passenger service between the two cities.

Brightline had earlier submitted an unsolicited bid to use CFX right of way for service between Orlando and Tampa.

That prompted FDOT to open a procurement process for any private entities to provide the service.

Brightline President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Goddard called service to Tampa a “natural extension” for the company, which now operates intercity rail service between Miami and West Palm Beach.

Brightline plans to launch service between West Palm Beach and Orlando in 2021.

Miami Amtrak Station Platform Built Too Short

January 30, 2017

The opening of Amtrak’s new station near Miami International Airport is not only late, but it has a size problem.

The platform is too short to accommodate the length of the Amtrak trains that will use it.

Amtrak 4Officials in the Florida Department of Transportation say that an engineering error in designing the platform means that the Miami Intermodal Center will not open until late 2017.

“FDOT is in the process of finalizing an operations and maintenance agreement with Amtrak to provide their passenger service at the MIC Central Station,” said FDOT spokesperson Ivette Ruiz-Paz in an email to the Miami Herald.

Ruiz-Paz said Amtrak will continue to use its Hialeah station for the New York-Miami Silver Star and Silver Meteor.

The design error means that the platform at the station is short by about 200 feet. Trains would be forced to block Northwest 25th Street.

Officials say the error was the result of confusion between FDOT and Amtrak. The designers were expecting shorter trains than Amtrak typically operates on the route.

Rather than extend or rebuild the platform, FDOT has decided to live with trains blocking 25th Street and reconfigure nearby streets to accommodate traffic detours.

“A crossing has been developed and constructed from NW 28th St. connecting to NW 37th Ave.,” Ruiz-Paz said. “Other roadway elements have also been added to improve connectivity to the infrastructure.”

Amtrak is one of four rail services at the Miami Intermodal Center, or MIC.

Also using it will be Metrorail, Tri-Rail and the elevated trains to the airport.  There will also be bus terminal and rental car center.