Port Everglades Expansion On Track
Broward County’s Port Everglades is advancing $1.6 billion in infrastructure improvements that are underway and expected to be completed in the next five years.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly impacting this year’s bottom line, but we are fortunate that Port Everglades’ diversified business sectors of cargo, cruise and petroleum can address a dip in one business sector and be balanced out with stability in other revenue-generating business sectors. As a result, Port Everglades has a history of financial success and has budgeted for several sizeable construction projects that are moving forward at a rapid pace with little disruption from the virus,” said Port Everglades’ Glenn Wiltshire, Acting Chief Executive & Port Director.
Underway is a $471 million berth expansion, the largest infrastructure project in the Port’s history. The Southport Turning Notch Extension will add new cargo berths by lengthening the Port’s existing turn-around area from 900 feet to 2,400 feet. Part of this effort includes installing crane rail infrastructure for new Super Post-Panamax container gantry cranes.
Three Super Post-Panamax container-handling gantry cranes, valued at $41 million, are currently being manufactured in China by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. Inc. (ZPMC) and expected to be in service by the end of 2020. The Port has an option to purchase three additional cranes within five years. The cranes are reportedly the largest low-profile container gantry cranes ever designed and built.
Deepening & Widening Channels
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in the preconstruction engineering and design phase of deepening the Port’s navigation channels from 42 feet to 48-50 feet and widening narrower sections of the channel for safe vessel passage.
In February 2020, this project received $29.1 million in funding under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers FY 2020 Work Plan. The funding will be used to build a new facility at U.S. Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale so the Intracoastal Waterway can be widened by 250 feet. Currently, this chokepoint in the channel puts operating restriction on large Neo-Panamax cargo ships, which affects their ability to transit past docked cruise ships. The Coast Guard Station reconfiguration is the first phase of the larger dredging project.
Cruise Parking Garage
Port Everglades is building a new parking garage to serve Cruise Terminals 2 and 4. The new 1,818-space garage is currently under construction, with a Fall 2020 completion date. It will feature an air-conditioned bridge with moving walkways to deliver guests to Terminal 2, Princess Cruises’ prototype Ocean Medallion terminal. The Northport Garage, where passengers now park, will be dedicated to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center.
International Logistics Center
A new logistics center is being constructed at the Port through a public-private partnership with nationally recognized commercial developer CenterPoint Properties. The Port Everglades International Logistics Center, constructed on 16.657 acres of Port property, will be divided into two buildings with the southernmost building (±145,000 SF) scheduled to be completed by June 2020, and the northernmost building (±156,000 SF) slated for September 2020. The project will contain warehouse, refrigerated warehouse, office space, and cross-docking facilities, which will enhance the services available to shippers using Port Everglades. A portion of the logistics center will be activated as a Foreign-Trade Zone.
Petroleum Slip Improvements
Port Everglades and its petroleum industry partners are expanding Slip 1 to allow larger tankers to dock and offload more cargo per ship at a faster rate. The project will create measurable efficiencies and economies of scale. Dovetailing with the relocation and upsizing of private industry’s loading arms and manifold, equipped with updated valves and elevated piping, Port Everglades will invest $90-100 million in seawall, fenders, mooring bollards, and roadway, extending the facility’s life by up to 75 years.
About Port Everglades’ Growth
Port Everglades’ growth is guided by a carefully researched comprehensive Master/Vision Plan that maps out capital improvements and operational efficiencies over the next five-, 10- and 20-year horizons. Today’s infrastructure projects, some of which are described here, resulted from the original Master/Vision Plan adopted 12 years ago. The Port updates the Plan every 2-5 years to consider market trends, new technology, community development and environmental initiatives. The Plan is a roadmap that has steered Port Everglades to becoming the third largest cruise port in the world, one of the nation’s largest containerized cargo ports and South Florida’s main hub for gasoline and jet fuel.
The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County, Florida government with operating revenues of almost $170.7 million in Fiscal Year 2019 (October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019). It does not rely on local tax dollars for operations. The total value of economic activity related to Port Everglades is nearly $33 billion. More than 219,000 Florida jobs are impacted by the Port, including 13,037 people who work for companies that provide direct services to Port Everglades.