Cruising/Navigating - Florida’s AICW

St. Marys River to Key West

Florida’s segment of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW) has its beginning in the north at St. Marys River at (MM "713.7"), the Georgia/Florida State Line. Your general course will trend in a near south-southeasterly direction to the vicinity of the Port of Palm Beach (Lake Worth Inlet) where it takes up a nearly southerly heading leading to Miami (Government Cut). From there it is southwesterly to Cross Bank (MM "1153.4") near Plantation Key and the official end of the AICW. Continuing on in a generally southwesterly direction will lead you to Key West.

In the interest of saving time and distance, a better option is to depart the AICW at Government Cut and make use of Hawk Channel. While the distance savings is small (≈10.8 NM), the deeper and more open waters will allow much higher speeds with significant time savings.

Aids to Navigation

Buoys and Marks

Intracoastal Waterway buoys and navigational markers are like most other lateral marks in the U.S. the difference is that yellow triangles or yellow squares are added to the mark to indicate they are ICW markers. The rule is: When proceeding southbound on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (Norfolk, VA to Cross Bank in the Florida Keys) or northbound / westbound on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (Ft. Meyers, FL to Brownsville, TX); markers with yellow triangles are kept to starboard and yellow squares are kept to port at all times.

While Yellow Squares are typically found on green buoys or beacons and yellow triangles are typically found on red buoys or beacons, this is not always the case. Use Caution!

Green ICW Marker Red ICW Marker

Regardless of the Color of the Mark!

Charts

NOAA Charts #11489, #11485, #11472, #11467, #11451, #11445, and #11446 provide coverage of the Florida portion of the AICW.

Chart #11489 covers the AICW from (MM "675.7") at St. Simons Sound, GA to the Tolomato River at Shell Bluff Landing, FL (MM "768.7").

Chart #11485 covers the AICW from (MM "768.7"), Tolomato River to (MM "910.2") at Palm Shores, FL.

Chart #11472 covers the AICW from (MM "910.2"), Palm Shores to (MM "1024.9") at West Palm Beach.

Chart #11467 covers the AICW from Mile (MM "1024.9"), West Palm Beach to (MM "1099.7") in Biscayne Bay.

Chart #11451 covers the AICW from (MM "1099.7") in Biscayne Bay to Plantation Key at (MM "1153.4") and then on to Bahia Honda Key.

Chart #11445 covers the Florida Keys from Bahia Honda Key to Sugarloaf Key via the Hawk Channel.

Chart #11446 covers the Florida Keys from Sugarloaf Key to Key West via the Hawk Channel.

Chart #11489 - St. Simons Sound, GA to Tolomato River, FL
Chart #11485 - Tolomato River, FL to Palm Shores, FL
Chart #11485 - Palm Shores, FL to West Palm Beach, FL
Chart #11467 - West Palm Beach, FL to Miami, FL
Chart #11451 - Miami, FL to Vacca Key, FL and on to Bahia Honda Key, FL
Chart #11445 - Bahia Honda Key, FL to Sugarloaf Key, FL
Chart #11446 - Sugarloaf Key, FL to Key West, FL

Distances and Mileages

All distances along the Florida Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway are given in statute miles unless otherwise noted. Statute miles are used in order to conform to the distances shown on the small craft charts typically used along this route.

The Florida portion of the AICW (southbound) is measured based on increasing mileage between St. Marys River (MM "713.7") and Plantation Key (MM "1153.4") which marks the official end the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

Channels

The Federal project depth for the Florida segment of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway provides for the following depths:

The actual controlling depths in the channels may vary due to shoaling. This reduces the available water depths to less than the Federal project depth until maintenance dredging can be accomplished.

Communications

Bridges – VHF Channel 09.

Bridges, Locks, and Overhead Power Lines

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway - Florida Bridge Schedule

The following table lists the bridges; their schedules, and restrictions along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW) in Florida.

The minimum overhead clearance of fixed bridges over the Florida portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway is the Julia Tuttle Causeway Bridge in Miami (mile marker 1087.1) at 56 feet.

This list is believed to be accurate as of January 2020. If any errors or omissions are noted, please e-mail us at with any corrections or recommendations.


Open Down Arrow AICW - Florida East Coast Bridge Schedule
Fernandina Beach to Jacksonville

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Bridges - Florida


Fernandina Beach to Jacksonville

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Schedule Restrictions VHF
720.7 Kingsley Creek RR Swing Bridge 5’ Normally Open Closes for RR Traffic. 09
720.8 Amelia Island Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Twin Spans  
739.0 Hecksher Drive Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    

Open Down Arrow AICW - Florida East Coast Bridge Schedule
Jacksonville to St. Augustine

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Bridges - Florida


Jacksonville to St. Augustine

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Schedule Restrictions VHF
741.8 Wonderwood Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Twin Spans  
744.7 Atlantic Blvd. Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Twin Spans  
747.5 McCormick Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Twin Spans  
749.2 J. Turner Butler Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Twin Spans  
758.8 Palm Valley Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
775.7 F & M Usina Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    

Open Down Arrow AICW - Florida East Coast Bridge Schedule
St. Augustine to Daytona Beach

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway - Florida


St. Augustine to Daytona Beach

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Schedule Restrictions VHF
777.9 Bridge of Lions Bascule Bridge 18’ The draw shall open 0700 - 1800 on the hour and ½ hour except Federal holidays. Other times on demand. Closed M-F at 0800, 1200, and 1700
09
780.1 Route 312 Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Twin Spans  
788.6 Crescent Beach Bascule Bridge 25’ Opens on Demand   09
803.0 Hammock Dunes Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
811.0 Flagler / Moody Blvd. Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
816.0 L.B. Knox Bascule Bridge 15’ Opens on Demand   09
825.0 Ormond Beach Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
829.0 Seabreeze/Oakridge Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Twin Spans  
829.7 Main Street Bascule Bridge 22’ Opens on Demand   09
830.2 Speedway Blvd. Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge 63’ at North Fender  
830.6 Veterans Memorial Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Under Re-construction  
835.5 Dunlawton Avenue Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    

Open Down Arrow AICW - Florida East Coast Bridge Schedule
Daytona Beach to Cape Canaveral

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway - Florida


Daytona Beach to Cape Canaveral

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Schedule Restrictions VHF
830.2 Speedway Blvd. Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge 63’ at North Fender  
830.6 Veterans Memorial Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Under Re-construction  
835.5 Dunlawton Avenue Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
845.0 George E. Musson (Coronado Beach) Bascule Bridge 24’ The draw shall open on the hour and ½ hour. from 0700 to 1900. Other times on demand.   09
846.5 Harris Saxon Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
869.2 Allenhurst-Haulover Bascule Bridge 27’ Opens on Demand   09
876.6 NASA RR Bascule Bridge 7’ Normally Open Closes for RR Traffic 09
878.9 Max Brewer Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
885.0 JFK Space Center Bascule Bridge 27’ Opens on Demand Closed M - F 0630 - 0800 and 1530-1700 except Federal holidays. 09

Open Down Arrow AICW - Florida East Coast Bridge Schedule
Cape Canaveral to Fort Pierce

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway - Florida


Cape Canaveral to Fort Pierce

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Schedule Restrictions VHF
894.0 Bennett Causeway Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Twin Spans  
897.0 Merritt Island Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Twin Spans  
909.0 Pineda Causeway Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Twin Spans  
914.0 Eau Gallie Causeway Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
918.0 Melbourne Causeway Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Twin Spans  
943.0 Wabasso Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
952.0 Merrill Barber Bridge 66’ Fixed Bridge    
953.0 17th Street Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
964.5 North Ft. Pierce Bascule Bridge 26’ Opens on the Hour and ½ Hour.   09

Open Down Arrow AICW - Florida East Coast Bridge Schedule
Fort Pierce to Palm Beach

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway - Florida


Fort Pierce to Palm Beach

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Schedule Restrictions VHF
966.0 Ft. Pierce Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
981.4 Jensen Beach Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
984.9 Ernest Lyons Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
995.9 Hobe Sound Bascule Bridge 21’ Opens on Demand   09
1004.1 Highway 707 Bascule Bridge 25’ Opens on Demand   09
1004.8 Jupiter Federal Bascule Bridge 26’ Opens on Demand   09
1006.2 Indiantown Road Bascule Bridge 35’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour. Twin Spans 09
1009.3 Donald Ross Bascule Bridge 35’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour.   09
1012.6 PGA Blvd. Bascule Bridge 24’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour.   09
1013.7 Parker Bascule Bridge 25’ Opens on the ¼ and ¾ hour.   09
1018.0 Blue Heron Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    

Open Down Arrow AICW - Florida East Coast Bridge Schedule
Palm Beach to Pompano

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway - Florida


Palm Beach to Pompano

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Schedule Restrictions VHF
1021.8 Flagler Bascule Bridge 24’ Opens on the ¼ and ¾ hour. Expect security closures. 09
1022.6 Royal Park Bascule Bridge 21’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour. Expect security closures. 09
1024.7 Southern Blvd. Bascule Bridge 14’ Opens on the ¼ and ¾ hour. Expect security closures.
Re-construction is ongoing and is expected to be completed Spring of 2021. New Bridge expected to have a clearance of 21’ closed and 65’ open.
09
1028.8 Lake Worth Bascule Bridge 35’ Opens on Demand 38’ at Center. Bascule leaf overhangs channel above 88’. 09
1031.0 Lantana Bascule Bridge 21’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour.   09
1035.0 Ocean Avenue Bascule Bridge 21’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour.   09
1035.8 Woolbright Avenue Bascule Bridge 25’ Opens on Demand   09
1038.7 George Bush Bascule Bridge 9’ Opens on Demand   09
1039.6 Atlantic Ave. Bascule Bridge 12’ Opens on the ¼ and ¾ hour.   09
1041.1 Linton Blvd. Bascule Bridge 30’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour.   09
1044.9 Spanish River Blvd. Bascule Bridge 25’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour.   09
1047.5 Palmetto Park Bascule Bridge 19’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour.   09
1048.2 Camino Real Bascule Bridge 9’ Open on the hour and every 20 minutes thereafter.   09
1050.0 Hillsboro Blvd. Bascule Bridge 21’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour.   09

Open Down Arrow AICW - Florida East Coast Bridge Schedule
Pompano to Ft. Lauderdale

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway - Florida


Pompano to Ft. Lauderdale

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Schedule Restrictions VHF
1055.0 14th St. Bascule Bridge 15’ Opens on the ¼ and ¾ hour.   09
1056.0 Atlantic Blvd. Bascule Bridge 15’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour.   09
1059.0 Commercial Blvd. Bascule Bridge 15’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour.   09
1060.5 Oakland Park Bascule Bridge 22’ Opens on the ¼ and ¾ hour.   09
1062.6 Sunrise Blvd. Bascule Bridge 25’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour. On the first weekend in May, the draw need not open from 1600 to 1800 on Saturday and Sunday, and, on the first Saturday in May, the draw need not open from 2145 to 2245. 09
1064.0 Las Olas Blvd. Bascule Bridge 24’ Opens on the ¼ and ¾ hour. On the first weekend in May, the draw need not open from 1600 to 1800 on Saturday and Sunday, and, on the first Saturday in May, the draw need not open from 2145 to 2245. 09

Open Down Arrow AICW - Florida East Coast Bridge Schedule
Ft. Lauderdale to Miami

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway - Florida


Ft. Lauderdale to Miami

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Schedule Restrictions VHF
1065.9 SE 17th Street (Brooks Memorial) Bascule Bridge 55’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour.   09
1069.4 Dania Beach Blvd. Bascule bridge 22’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour.   09
1070.5 Sheridan Street Bascule Bridge 22’ Opens on the ¼ and ¾ hour.   09
1072.2 Hollywood Beach Blvd. Bascule Bridge 25’ Opens on the hour and ½ hour.   09
1074.0 Hallandale Beach Blvd. Bascule Bridge 26’ Opens on the ¼ and ¾ hour.   09
1076.5 N.E. 192nd Street Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
1078.0 N.E. 163rd St. (Sunny Isles) Bascule Bridge 30’ The draw opens M-F 0700 - 1800, on weekends and Federal holidays from 1000 to 1800, on the ¼ and ¾ hour. Other times on demand Twin Spans 09
1081.4 Broad Causeway Bascule Bridge 16’ The draw shall open from 0800 - 1800 on the ¼ and ¾ hour. Other times on demand.   09
1084.6 West 79th Street Bascule Bridge 25’ The draw shall open M-F 0700 to 1900 on the hour and ½ hour. Other times on Demand.   09
1087.0 Julia Tuttle Causeway Bridge 56’ Fixed Bridge    
1088.6 Venetian Causeway Bascule Bridge 12’ The draw shall open M-F 0700 - 1900 except Federal holidays) on the hour and ½ hour. Other times on demand.   09
1088.7 McArthur Causeway Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Twin Spans  
1089.2 Dodge Island Causeway Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
1089.3 Dodge Island RR Bascule Bridge 22’ Usually Open Closes for RR Traffic 09

The Florida AICW Bridge List as well as the entire AICW Bridge List (Norfolk to Miami) can be downloaded for your personal and private use below. The ZIP files contain the schedules in Adobe (.pdf) file format:

AICW Florida Bridge Schedule - Download

AICW Bridge and Lock Schedule (Norfolk to Miami) - Download

Open Down Arrow Florida’s East Coast Long Term Temporary Bridge Restrictions

Temporary Long Term Bridge Restrictions

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway - Florida

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Restrictions
1020.8 Flagler Memorial Bascule Bridge 17’ POTUS restrictions - Mariners may assume that once the news media announces that the President of the United States will be visiting Mar-a-Lago that Flagler Memorial will be on an hourly schedule. The following temporary bridge regulations will be in place Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays and includes tug and barge traffic. Flagler Memorial Bridge will be allowed to remain closed to navigation from 1415 to 1730 with the exception of a once an hour opening at 1415, 1515, 1615, and 1715, weekdays only. At all other times bridge will operate per their published regulation.
1022.6 Royal Park Bascule Bridge 21’ POTUS restrictions - Mariners may assume that once the news media announces that the President of the United States will be visiting Mar-a-Lago that Royal Park Bridge will be allowed to remain closed to navigation from 1415 to 1730 with the exception of a once an hour opening at 1430, 1530, 1630, and 1730, weekdays only. At all other times bridge will operate per their published regulation.
1024.7 Southern Blvd. Bascule Bridge 14’ Southern Boulevard Bridge, which is closest to Mar-a-Lago, will be allowed to remain closed to navigation whenever the presidential motorcade is in transit. At all other times the bridge shall operate under the normal operating schedule.
Southern Boulevard Bridge replacement - There will be floating equipment in the vicinity of the bridge thru 2021.

AICW - Florida Locks

None.

AICW - Florida Overhead Cables and Power Lines

Quite a few overhead cables cross Florida’s Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. A few cable crossings, (3), are noted with a minimum authorized clearance of 80’. These are located between (MM "720..8") and (MM "746.9"). All other clearances for overhead cables and power lines along the Florida AICW are higher.

Caution - Many of the overhead cables over the waterway carry high voltage, and an extra margin of safety should be allowed during threatening weather.

Tides

The tides along the east coast of Florida are semi-diurnal from St. Marys River south to Plantation Key exhibiting (2) equal high and low tides every ≈24 hours 50 minutes. South of Plantation Key, the tides are Mixed-Semi-Diurnal exhibiting (2) unequal high and low tides every ≈24 hours 50 minutes.

Beginning at St. Marys River with tides of 5.8 feet, the tidal range decreases southbound. St. Johns River is 4.9 feet, Port Canaveral 3.6 feet, Ft. Pierce 2.6 feet, Port Everglades 2.5 feet, Miami 2,4 feet, Bahia Hionda Key 1.2 feet, and Key West is 1.3 feet.

Entrances, Inlets, and Passes

There are numerous Entrances, Inlets, or Passes between the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the East Coast of Florida. From St. Marys Entrance in the north to Miami in the south.

While many of these are only suitable for shallow draft vessels with local knowledge, some can be considered navigable for most vessels. We have listed them on the next page along with useful information on each to aid you in deciding if you wish to use a particular inlet.

NEXT - AICW Florida’s East Coast - Entrances, Inlets, & Passes



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