Boating Season might be DONE :( Bridge is OUT !!! GRRRRRR

JasonLepore

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I just bought my Benny last year and I dock it in the back of my house,,,,There is a Train Bridge that had an Accident from te companies NEGLECT,,,, Train even derailed and spilled chemicals,,,, They knew there were Issues and even ran the Train through a RED Light.... Now the Swing Bridge is Closed BLOCKING the Waterway to the Main River... They are saying they have to put in a New Bridge that may take 2 years or so....... I AM GOING NUTS !!!!...... Just had a New Born Baby and Bought Docks for the house.... At 1st they offered us a Dock space at another Marina,,,, BUT having my Boat left at a Marina 20 minutes away COMPARED to being docked in my Yard is not the same,,,,Especially with 2 Boys and a Newborn too..... Now they are asking how can they make us happy,,,, I SAID OPEN THE BRIDGE....I am sure they would fix it right away if it was Broken where they can not get their trains by,,,, MY SUMMERS Are RUINED, and Maybe more.....IF this was an Accident I would Understand but this is NEGLECT!!,,,,,, They said to make them an Offer to NOT use my new Boat for the Next 2 Years...... I have no IDEA what to Even ask for,,,, I would NOT even have bought a NEW boat if I could not leave it in my yard..... We do have payments and everything else we just bought for it..... I can not see leaving it at a Marina ALL summer unattended,,,or Trailoring it every time...... Then Packing up the baby and Kids, along with Tubes, Fishing Gear, etc,,,,,

What would you ask for? Or should I get an Attorney? I was going to make an OFFER and if they say NO to it, then get a lawyer..... BUT 2 years of NOT being able to Use my boat from my house is CRAZY,,,, I took rides almost every day!!!

We do not go on vacations in the Summer, we take the Boat to different locations, and stay out All day....TWO YEARS of this or more? I can't put a price on that.....and make Boat payments and Loss of Time in Using it... I am all set up here to Load it up, Clean it, Refuel it,,,,, Everything.......
 

wchasioux

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I would say that you should consult an attorney. Let an attorney negotiate a settlement for you. If you made an offer right away and they took it, then you probably should've asked for more. I would think your settlement using an attorney could be higher if the company was worried that they would have defense expenses in court as well. If you have some neighbors that are in the same boat (sorry, poor choice of words), maybe you could share an attorney. Just my two cents. Sorry to hear about your situation. I can feel your frustration.

We had a similar problem where I live in 2011. I live on the upper Missouri River, and in 2011, the river flooded for the entire summer. The dams were all at max capacity and released a record amount of water which caused us to plug our bay outlet to the river for the summer to keep our homes safe. I have my boats in my back yard too, but didn't have access to the river until mid July of 2012 (due to a large sandbar from the flood that had to be dredged out during the first half of the 2012 summer). In 2011 the river was closed to all boat traffic in order to help protect houses that had to have ring dikes around them all summer. As painful as it was not to be able to use the river, our house was high and dry unlike many other people in our community. We missed about 1 and 1/2 years of boating due to our flood.

Maybe they will remove the debris and you will be able to still get out while they build a new bridge? Good luck.
 

BigKahuna

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Jason...........

Of course the best case scenario would be for the company to fix and open their bridge but it sounds like that isn't going to happen any time soon. Let's say they pay you a very lucrative settlement to NOT use your new boat. With that money in hand you are still going to have that itch and desire to go boating with your family. I know it will be a major inconvenience for you to keep your boat at a marina or to trailer it there after having it docked at your waterfront lot but if you think about it.......................what other choice do you have?!?!? Regardless of what they give you..........you are still going to want to take that Bennington out with your family. The kicker is.............you and your neighbors are in position to make them pay for your "pain and suffering" so to speak. I agree with Wchaisioux...........have an attorney negotiate a monetary settlement and also work in a deal to keep your boat at the marina whether it may be in a wet slip or dry storage. It sounds like they want to work with you and make you somewhat happy! (Ask for the "world"! See what they say. For example, tell them you want your boat paid off!) Just keep telling yourself................this will only be temporary............

We live about 25 minutes from our lake marina and have kept our pontoon boat there in the gated dry storage yard since we bought it 5 yrs ago. Every boat owner that has a boat parked there has an access key (I would love to bring it home but strict HOA covenants prohibit it in our neighborhood). It would be an adjustment for you but for us it has become second nature to pack the cooler, jump in the Expedition, drive to the lake, hook up the trailer, launch the boat and go! We've done it so much we could probably do it in our sleep. I know you've got kids, we did it with kids.....and friends and neighbors and anybody else that wanted to go on our boat. Put em to work, make them help................ This is our 2nd boat we have stored at this marina and have been a customer for about 20 years so we are totally comfortable with leaving it there.............It might not be as bad as you think...........

Hope everything works out for you............... try to make the best out of a difficult situation..............
 

Roland

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Jason.... that really sucks! But what can you do... as far as the "legal" issues involved I won't even hazard a guess, but I know if I were you I wouldn't just let my boat sit for up to 2 years... I would either use another marina or if I had to, I'd trailer it.. obviously neither one is going to be nearly as convenient as having the boat docked at your home, but right now, that's not an option if you want to use your boat... yes, hauling it on a trailer or using another marina is an inconvenience, but at least you and your family will still enjoy the boat... just my 2 cents worth... good luck with it all...
 

BulldogsCadillac

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To basically repeat what everyone else has said, that sucks. I would contact a lawyer and first find out what their legal obligation is to have that waterway open, but ultimately even if they have an obligation, it isn't going to be fixed right away. I would go and check out the marina, see what they have to offer for securing your boat and accessories, and weigh the hassle of towing, with the hassle worrying. It's a tough one. I don't mind trailering too much, but it does suck a little for late night cruises, much easier to load and launch in the light. Also check if there is ample parking wherever you would be launching if trailering decision is made. I know for us on our small lake, it is a National Park, so very little "extra parking" we always try to get there early so we don't have to walk a mile or park in the ditch. Good luck to you!
 

kaydano

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Find out what chemicals were spilled. This could be bigger than you think. If you settle now, they no doubt will make you sign away any recourse.

If it was insignificant then quickly get an attorney and quickly settle before the well runs dry or they change their mind.

Sorry to hear the news, but your alternative is still better than my situation. 30 minute drive to our boat!

Make the deal ”per year" in case it goes on 4 or 5 years...
 
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Remediation

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i would see an attorney. Waterways are federally regulated. There probably are things the railroad is liable for that you don't know about. This will not be your local lawyer you need. Talk to your congressman.
 

lakeliving

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And keep us updated...
 

lakebum

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Jason, I would keep my boat at the marina and do the short travel. Many others would love to have this. I totally understand your convenience loss but for your own mental well being, let an attorney handle it and try to enjoy using your new boat from the marina. Sorry , Steve
 

ericscher

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Look, you probably don't want to hear this, but at this point you're stuck with nothing but options you don't like.

Consult with an attorney of course...

You should know what your options ARE before you choose one; but I predict he's going to tell you that you basically have no claim and that you should probably take the dock offer and cut your losses.
 

Bamaman

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Unfortunately, the government likes to protect railroads as they're so important to U.S. commerce. They also are kind to barge companies and inland maritime law is quite specialized.

Good luck to you in your search for the best alternative.

I too believe your best thing would be to put the boat in another dock until the problem is addressed.
 

Link

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Jason, I feel for you and know that i would be just as upset. My advice is not to rush into anything or make rash or temper-inspired statements in early stage negotations. Wish you the best possioble result Pal
 

goldnrod24

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Have them pay your boat payments for 2 years as well as the marina fees. From my perspective, that would make the drive to use the boat worthwhile.

Not perfect, but if they would do that, it would be a good compromise.
 

JasonLepore

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He is going to get back to me by Saturday,,,I did NOT make an Offer yet,,,,Spoke to one lawyer who does not handle this stuff, but gave me other lawyers names,,,,,, I am just worried that the 2 years turns to 3 or more..... I was thinking of adding up the payments , slip fees, and travel time, maybe more to see what they say,,,,, But for 2 Years,,,, Does $45,000 seem like a lot to ask for,,,, I use this boat from Spring to Fall, and almost 7 days a week,,,, Plus the Docks we bought,,,and Everything else,,,, I definetly won't be using it as much as I would at home,,, Also figured its like getting More then going to a lawyer,,,because they take like 30% off of winnings,,,, If they say No, then go to lawyer.....

I will keep you posted ,,,,,,,, Am I out of line with that number for 2 years?
 

kaydano

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Say your extra time (and gas) to get to the marina each time you go out on the boat is worth $100, and you use the boat 90 days, that's $9k... Plus marina dock fees... Plus, sounds like you use it more than 90 days in the season... I don't think you're out of line as a starting price. Personally, I'd be thrilled to get 1/4th of that for the 2 years. That's just me.
 

StevL

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You may also consider talking to your attorney about the potential devaluation of your home. Try to sell your water front home with no water access. You didn't purchase a home with limited water access. I thought I heard you say you were thinking of selling it this year or next.....

Best of luck with a bad situation.

Steve
 

ericscher

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wchasioux

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Also don't forget that the Railroad will have lawyers working for them. I would think you would be at a major disadvantage if you tried to tackle this yourself.
 
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