Florida marina settles on compensation for new bridge

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Construction of the new Flagler Memorial Bridge, delayed for months over a dispute between the Palm Harbor Marina and the Florida Department of Transportation, likely will begin this summer after the two sides agreed to a settlement Friday.

The transportation department will pay Palm Harbor and the city of West Palm Beach $6 million to settle disputes over easements and potential damage to the marina, The Palm Beach Post reported.

The operators of the marina, which is just south of the existing bridge on land subleased from the city, said the new bridge would impede boat traffic in and out of the marina. The state is building the new bridge directly south of the existing bridge, in use since 1938, so it will not interrupt vehicle traffic during the construction.

Palm Harbor also said it had an easement that the project would impinge on.

Under the agreement, which will go before the city commission on May 14 for final approval, the $6 million will be used to expand the marina away from the bridge.

The majority of the remaining funds will go to Leisure Resorts LLC, which owns the marina. The city would receive 8 percent and might shift one of its piers to accommodate changes to the marina.

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