Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nassau State Park Negotiations Smooth out Bridge Could Become Area for Recreation

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nassau State Park Negotiations Smooth out Bridge Could Become Area for Recreation

Article excerpt

Success required getting all the players in one room, but it appears negotiations for operating the state park at the Nassau Sound Bridge have smoothed out and should be completed soon, officials said.

"We all sat around and said grace over it at [Jacksonville] City Hall," said Kenneth S. Davis, district general counsel for the Florida Department of Transportation. "It helped to get everybody in the same room at the same time."

Negotiations to complete a contract to operate the park had bogged down recently, prompting Davis to write a letter expressing frustration with the time it was taking to get the deal done.

The old bridge, which has been replaced by a new span, was slated for demolition before Nassau County residents began a grass-roots effort to save it for recreational use. That effort led to support from Duval and Nassau counties' governments, as well as two state agencies, the DOT and the Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Recreation and Parks.

The initial proposal called for the DOT to repair and upgrade the bridge and paint it. The DEP then would take over operation, with the two counties paying for annual maintenance.

But after several years of negotiations, there still were issues between the four parties. All wanted changes to the contract, mostly minor, but they delayed a final agreement.

"I have attempted for two years to broker an agreement regarding the use of the old Nassau Sound Bridge as a recreational facility. . ." Davis wrote in a Jan. 3 letter. "I have been unsuccessful."

Davis said he did not want to participate in further negotiations. His letter, however, sparked the meeting of all four parties earlier this month. And Davis was part of it.

"We went through everybody's objections, what they have to have and what they didn't have. We were able to take care of almost everything," he said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.