“Florida’s Big Dig” on sale on Kindle

The author of “Florida’s Big Dig”, the story of the Florida link in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from Jacksonville, Fla., to Miami, Fla., 1881 to 1935″ announces that this book is officially online from Kindle in its full electronic form, and complete with illustrations, at a sale price of $9.95 on line.

The illustrator -- Ana Larrauri
“Florida’s Big Dig”

In publication since 2007 in hard bound and soft covers, this book is authored by William G. Crawford, Jr, Esq., Florida attorney and historian, and the author also of the following postings at http://www.FloridasBigDig.me and the postings at http://www.FloridasBigDig.com.  This book received the Florida Historical Society’s Rembert Patrick Award in 2008 for the best academic book on a Florida historical topic.

Ana Larrauri, a Miami commercial artist, rendered the full-color front cover, capturing all of the major themes in the book.  The study guide may by downloaded at no cost by searching for the words and phrases “Florida’s Big Dig” and “Study Guide” on the Internet.



Miami Marine Stadium upon completion in 1963 on Virginia Key, Miami, Fla.

Miami Marine Stadium in 1963 upon completion on Virginia Key, Miami, Fla.
Miami Marine Stadium in 1963 upon completion on Virginia Key, Miami, Fla., overlooking Biscayne Bay, dedicated as the Ralph Munroe Marine Stadium on December 23rd.[Model]

An architectural jewel designed by 28-year-old Hilario Candela, the Stadium was used for decades for concerts,boat races, even boxing matches, for crowds at a maximum number of 6,566 until it fell into disuse and functional deterioration. As of this writing, a preservation group has formed to restore and renovate the Stadium for its original uses as well as to assemble a collection of primary and secondary artifacts and materials to tell the story of the museum  from its original conception, to its use design and construction, to its deterioration from misuse and disuse, to the formation of efforts to renovate and restore the structure for its its original uses and additional uses as a museum and library of materials related to its past and intended uses.

The Stadium was built at a cost of $1 million. The Biscayne Bay was dredged for boat racing by marine and heavy construction contractor J.B. Fraser & Sons of Ft. Lauderdale for approximately $900,000.

Unfortunately, upon opening day of a boat race, a speedboat racer died in a boating accident. Still, the Stadium stayed in operation for decades until 1992 when the structure was declared unsafe by local building officials as a result of Hurricane Andrew. Trespassers had easy access to cover the entire structure in graffiti. The wooden seats became unsafe as a result of destruction and weather deterioration. In 1963, Candela’s 326-foot long single cantilevered fold-plate roof was the longest such single poured roof in the world.

The Friends of Miami Marine Stadium was organized in February 20, 2008, to raise the funds to restore the Miami Marine Stadium.

Aerial of Harbour Town Marina, Sea Pines, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Aerial of Harbour Town Marina, Sea Pines Plantation , Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Aerial of Harbour Town Marina, Sea Pines Plantation , Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Built in 1969 by acclaimed developer Charles Fraser, Harbour Town Marina has 100 slips on Calimbogue Sound, the second largest sound on the Atlantic coast (Long Island Sound is the largest) and part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.  Designed by renowned land planners Wallace Robert & Todd and Sasaki & Associates, the Sea Pines development includes, condominium apartments, a retail shopping center, a championship golf course and pro shop, a tennis center, two stand-alone restaurants as well as a hotel and Marriott time-share development.   The master plan also includes an iconic working lighthouse. Legend has it that the firms almost came to blows over the design of the lighthouse striping.

Author to be interviewed by Book TV C-SPAN 2, Tuesday, April 21,2015

William G. Crawford, Jr., author of the award-winning “Florida’s Big Dig,” is to be interviewed by Jason Dorman, a graduate of Flagler College, for C-SPAN 2 Book TV.

The interview is to air the month of May, with a special emphasis on a showing throughout the weekend of May 16 through May 17, 2015.

William G. Crawford, jr, Esq., Florida attorney, historian, and author of "Florida 's Big Dig."
William G. Crawford, jr, Esq., Florida attorney, historian, and author of “Florida ‘s Big Dig.”

The story of the Florida link in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, “Florida’s Big Dig” won the Rembert Patrick Award in 2008 for the Best Scholarly Book on a Florida history topic given by the Florida Historical Society.

C-SPAN is in the midst of a campaign of focusing on the history of smaller cities and towns and their authors. This weekend C-SPAN has been taping in St. Augustine, Fla.

Even Whiskers likes "Florida's Big Dig."
Even Whiskers likes “Florida’s Big Dig.”

Survey of the Intracoastal aboard the Army Corps S/V FLORIDA II


Congress mandates a survey of the Florida stretch of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway at least annually.

The author joined Col. Alan M. Dodd, Commander of the Jacksonville District and Corps support personnel, along with the federal Waterway’s official local sponsor, the Florida Inland Navigation District and its Commissioners, on the survey of the stretch from Stuart, Fla., to Fernandina Beach, Fla., from Wednesday, April 1, 2015 to Friday, April 3, 2015

Along the way, various Corps and FIND personnel as well as private contractors demonstrated the work and projects underway in the Waterway. We heard an update on the removal of the sunken barge from the Fort Pierce District, a dredge contractor joining us while underway to explain the work and challenges in removing rocky spoil with long distance pump dredges, the Corps’ work in managing exotic vegetation along the Waterway, and an update on Jaxport at Jacksonville.

A stop was made just south of the Palm Valley Bridge to meet with a homeowner whose dock encroached on the federal government’s right of way. The Colonel explained that several letters had been directed to the homeowner without compliance. Either the homeowner could remove the offending structure or the Corps of Engineers would remove the encroachment and place a lien against the owner’s entire property for the federal government’s expenses in removal. No word yet on whether the owner would comply.

A special treat was to make the transit aboard the FLORIDA II, A 62-foot, all steel, catamaran hydrographic survey vessel specifically designed for the Corps of Engineers.
The vessel’s top speed is 40 knots; 3 knots when under survey. Enjoy this short 4 minute videotape.

Back to the future: the Chesapeake and Delaware River Canal

Completed in 1829 during the first great Canal Era when arguments over Constitutional restraints kept Congress from using Federal taxpayer money to fund inland waterway construction, a private company completed the 17-mile waterway between the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays.

The original waterway was a tollway ten feet deep and sixty-six feet wide, with a boat channel thirty-six feet wide. It had four locks, each 110 feet long and 22 feet wide, later enlarged to 220 feet long and 24 feet wide.  The canal system later gave way to the faster and more economical railway by the time of the Civil War.

Today, the Canal has 5 fixed bridges and one lift bridge.  The four locks have been removed. The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal serves as an important inland link in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from Boston to Miami.

To see a short film of a boat transiting the Canal, Tap on this:

Even Whiskers likes “Florida’s Big Dig,” the story of the Intracoastal Waterway

Our literate cat Whiskers peaks over the top of a book stand to view my award-winning book, “Florida’s Big Dig: the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from Jacksonville to Miami, 1881 to 1935.” Winner of the Rembert Patrick Award in 2008, my book tells the story of how a privately built tollway barely five feet deep in some sections became a toll-free federally-controlled public waterway with minimum depths of from ten to twelve feet and minimum widths of from one hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and fifty feet.

Additional information on “Florida’s Big Dig” and how and where it may be purchased can be found on the website at http://www.FloridasBigDig.com.