Letters to the Editor

Bridge tenders

No doubt about it — traffic is a nightmare in South Florida. Of course, the problem is particularly acute downtown, where the Miami River vessel traffic interacts with street traffic.

I take vigorous exception to the not-so-subtle denigration of bridge tender conduct by Miami Downtown Development Authority member Richard Lydecker as “improper and random openings.” His comments were inspired by the widely-shared cellphone video showing a sailboat mast moving past the open Brickell Bridge during one late afternoon curfew period.

What the video didn’t show was the properly licensed and insured emergency vessel towing the disabled sailboat up river. The bridge tender took all reasonable measures to have the bridge opened, regardless of the operating schedule, for a commercial vessel that was engaged in a rescue or emergency operation, as required by the federal regulation governing such bridge tender conduct.

Before finding the money for a tunnel project, the only hope for adjusting the timing and protocols for bridge openings is — literally — an act of Congress. Given recent history…good luck with that!

Sandy Mielke, Miami