Port Everglades Begins to Deepen and Widen Channels to Accommodate Larger Ships
Port Everglades is one of two seaports in the U.S. to receive a construction “New Start” designation in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fiscal Year 2020 Work Plan.
This New Start designation means funds of $29.1 million to build a new facility for the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Station further east.
The Coast Guard Station reconfiguration is the first phase of the larger USACE Port Everglades Navigation Improvements Project (PENIP) to deepen and widen the Port’s navigational channels.
The next step is for the USACE to enter into a Project Partnership Agreement with the Port for the overall project which includes the USCG reconfiguration. The Coast Guard station reconfiguration is estimated to be completed by November 2023 at a total cost of approximately $39 million, with the balance paid through port revenue and state grant funds.
“Addressing this chokepoint is a critical step to widening the Intracoastal Waterway so cargo ships are able to transit to and from the southern part of the Port,” said Glenn Wiltshire, Port Everglades acting chief executive and Port director. “The new Coast Guard Station is a welcomed bonus that is needed for our community.”
“Our community has been a great supporter of Port Everglades because businesspeople and residents recognize the economic benefits that the Port generates,” said Broward County Mayor Dale V.C. Holness. “As a community, we have been actively advocating to our elected officials in D.C. for this new start designation so that the first phase of this critical project to deepen and widen our channels could begin.”
The Port Everglades deepening and widening project was authorized for construction in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 2016, and the USACE is currently in the preconstruction engineering and design phase.
The full deepening and widening project is designed to enable safe passage of next generation cruise ships and deep draft Neo-Panamax cargo ships. As the nation’s leading gateway for trade with Latin America, the Port already handles Neo-Panamax ships from Europe and South America, but the ships must be lightly loaded, which is inefficient, especially as older fleets are being replaced with much larger ships.