Planning for a major expansion of Port Everglades continues, with an expectation that the project will result in about 3,000 construction jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in business for trades and suppliers when full-scale work gets under-way in June 2018.
The Broward County Commission has approved a $437.5 million contract with Moss/Kiewit, a managing contractor for development of the Southport Turning Notch Extension at Port Everglades, for construction of up to five additional berths for cargo ships at the port, and a turn-around area for ships will be lengthened from 900 feet to 2,400 feet. The installation of new crane rails will allow for larger cranes, The Hollywood Gazette reports.
“This expansion is needed so that larger ships can come to Port Everglades and unload their cargo more quickly,” said Steven Cernak, CEO of Port Everglades. “Cargo shipping is very time sensitive and we don’t want to have ships waiting outside the port to unload their cargo. We always need to do things smarter.”
Video: The Port Everglades capital master plan
“The port industry is very competitive and we want more cargo and cruise ships to come to Port Everglades. We need this expansion to keep our port relevant,” said Cernak. “We have to think 15 years or more ahead.”
The work will include adding five berthing spaces and deepening the channel so it can accommodate larger container ships, the Hollywood publication reported Cernak as saying.
As well, Cruise Terminal 25 used by Royal Caribbean Cruises will be completely renovated for more than $100 million.
“Renovating Cruise Terminal 25 was already part of our Master/Vision Plan, and was scheduled to begin this year,” said Cernak. “Giving preferential berthing rights to Royal Caribbean allows us to build a facility that meets their expectations for the new generations of larger cruise ships and for the new Celebrity Edge, which is scheduled to homeport at Port Everglades beginning in December 2018.”
Also, the Port has been involved in a significant environmental project. About 70,000 mangroves were planted on 16.5 acres of land adjacent to a protected area of the Port.
Port Everglades is funded by user fees rather than property taxes. Operating Revenues for Fiscal Year 2016 were more than $162 million, which is considered profitable. It is held under the Broward County government and all major expenditures must be approved by the Broward County Commission.