Port Everglades Expansion
Broward County’s Port Everglades is an economic powerhouse for our community. Port Everglades is one of the top three cruise ports in the world, while also
being one of the most active containerized cargo ports in the United States. The total value of economic activity at Port Everglades is more than $29 billion annually, and 224,054 Florida jobs are impacted by the Port, including 13,322 people who work for companies that provide direct services to Port Everglades. The cruise industry also provides jobs and injects money into our economy. The continued growth can be credited to several expansion projects: the harbor deepening and widening project, the berth extension and the near dock rail. With these improvements, we can be assured that Port Everglades business will continue on an upward trend impacting Broward County’s economy.
Port Everglades Expansion
After 20 years of advocacy, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation “WIIN” (previously the Water Resource Development Act of 2016 “WRDA”) was authorized in December 2016. The WIIN Bill authorizes critical investments in water infrastructure projects; specifically, it authorizes the Deeping and Widening at Broward County’s Port Everglades. The project will ensure the capability of the port to accommodate larger cruise ships and the new Panamax ships. It will also create thousands of construction and permanent jobs, and support the local South Florida economy. The passage of this bill moves our project from the Authorization Phase into the critical next Appropriations Phase. This project is extremely important to the future of Broward County. Since the completion of the expansion of the Panama Canal, ships are becoming larger in size in order to accommodate more cargo. To meet the demands of these larger ships, wider and deeper channels are necessary for the ships to arrive and depart safely. The goals are to deepen the main navigational channels from 42 feet to 48 feet (plus 1-foot required and another 1-foot allowable overdredge, for a total of 50 feet), and to deepen and widen the Entrance Channel and parts of the Intracoastal Waterway so that cargo ships can pass safely by docked cruise ships. Construction is anticipated to be completed by 2022, and is expected to create an estimated 4,700 total construction jobs and nearly 1,500 permanent direct jobs locally from the additional cargo capacity. The estimated cost is $374 million, which will be paid with Port Everglades revenue generated through port user fees, in addition to federal appropriations and state grants. Since Port Everglades is a self-funded enterprise of Broward County, no local property taxes will be used for this project. It is important to continue to advocate for this expansion in order to continue the great success Broward County’s Port Everglades has achieved.
The Southport Turning Notch Extension project will elongate the existing deepwater turn-around area for cargo ships from 900 feet to 2,400 feet. This extension will allow for up to five new cargo berths and will help relieve the Port’s berth congestion problem. The project is projected to provide a $10.7 billion annual increase in economic activity related to the Port, and create 2,227 construction jobs in the near term and 5,529 regional jobs by the year 2030 when it is expected to be entirely utilized at its maximum capacity. A crucial part of the project includes replacing 8.7 acres of an existing mangrove conservation easement with a 16.5-acre upland improvement of approximately 70,000 new mangroves, plants, and seeds as well as implementing a number of environmental improvements in West Lake Park. Port officials worked thoroughly with port users, the environmental community, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to establish the plan for the new mangrove habitat. The new mangrove habitat has been a tremendous success.
Near Dock Rail
Completed in 2014, the Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) 42.5-acre near-dock Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) is another expansion project that assists with the progress of Port Everglades. The facility transfers international and domestic containers between ship and rail and handles containers originating in or intended for the eastern United States market. The new ICTF reduces congestion on interstate highways and local roadways, while also reducing harmful air emissions by diverting an estimated 180,000 trucks from the roads by the year 2029.
These three critical expansion projects improve productivity in cargo, cruise and petroleum businesses that operate at Port Everglades. By identifying the critical infrastructure needs and predicting the potential growth in all business aspects at Port Everglades, we can continue to provide the services and the positive economic impact for our community. It has been forecast that cruise business at Port Everglades will reach 5.6 million passengers by 2033. Cargo vehicles are predicted to reach nearly 3.3 million tons by 2033, which is triple the amount moved through Port Everglades today. Petroleum product total volumes are projected to grow from 300,000 barrels daily to 376,000 barrels daily by 2033. The Port Everglades Expansion projects are a necessity and they are well underway which will provide a bright and positive future for our community’s future growth. The Resident’s Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for county officials and federal, state, and local agencies. Visitors can subscribe to our e-news and social media sites. Please sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at email@example.com. As always, it is my honor to serve you.