Miami Beach

Letter: Coast Guard must make sure at least one bridge stays open during Venetian construction

As those who use the Venetian Causeway to get between Downtown and South Beach know, there has been a significant history of closures along the causeway.

I understand the need to fully restore the west side of the Venetian, especially following the incident in March, when a part gave way beneath a heavy Metrobus. However, as a resident of the Venetian Islands, I am greatly concerned that unless the Coast Guard decides to lock down the East Causeway Bridge during the reconstruction period, lives will be put at risk.

The East Causeway Bridge has a known history of mechanical failure and should it get stuck in the open position, as both bridges did simultaneously in early July, emergency services would not have access to the islands. Even without an emergency, people could not get to work, get home, or take children to and from school.

I urge everyone who lives, works or commutes along the causeway to write to the U.S. Coast Guard and press it to keep the east bridge locked down until the west end is once again safe for traffic. To submit a comment, go to regulations.gov and enter USCG-2014-0719.

Mark Samuelian, Miami Beach

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