I also have a little structural construction background and have corrected architects a few times in the past
. I do not believe that shaving the area as I did on my Reel/Tank would cause any problems, there is enough material left to support the bridge plate. As everything else, the proof is in the pudding! As of now, I do not have any issues with mine.
I also want to add that most of the stress is absorbed by the frame itself, there isn't much sideway pressure on a reel under load. When a reel twists under load, as they do with graphite frames, that's when you'll have frames and gears problems. Tiburon has it right with their new frames, eliminating the inner rings creates one unit with the frame and plates. A reel that doesn't twist under load is a happy reel.
This is only my opinion.
Take care. Sal