It’s the bridge that crosses the Middle River on Sunrise Boulevard in between Border’s Books and Keno Jewelers. Some of the people want the government to raise it higher. Other’s want it raised even higher! Some even want a drawbridge.
At a meeting held tonight at the Gallery One (the old Doubletree Hotel at the Intracoastal on Sunrise), not a contrary opinion to raising the height of the bridge could be found. About 60 people wandered around a meeting room looking at charts and drawings and sitting at tables writing opinions that would be turned into the authorities.
John Fiore, County Planner (and former Mayor of Wilton Manors) who was answering questions at the meeting, summed up the crowds’ reactions perfectly; ” if it’s built higher, seems as everyone will walk away with a smile.”
It seemed the only question left unanswered at the meeting was “how high?”.
Most in the room seemed to think that it should be able to be raised to at least the height of the N. Federal Highway Bridge, which is some 6 feet or better higher than the Sunrise Bridge. This would allow much bigger boats to reach homes in Coral Ridge, Bal Harbour, and on to the City of Wilton Manors. Fiore estimated that a 32′ boat, without radar, could then clear the bridge at high tide.
A petition was circulated by some that the bridge should be converted to a drawbridge, which would allow boats of unlimited heights up the river. The petition read “think positive, think progressive, replace the bridge with a drawbridge.” Only about 12 people had signed that petition.
One drawback? The Florida Department of Transportation has only budgeted about $8 million to repair the bridge, and a total replacement would be much more expensive. Better bring a paddle if you want to be upriver anytime soon!