The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday released its feasibility report for deepening and widening Port Everglades.
Deepening and widening the channel would allow deep draft post-Panamax cargo ships to dock at the port.
The total cost of the project, which calls to deepen the channel from 42 to 48 feet, would be $313 million. According to the county, only federal funds, port user fees, and some state funds would be used.
“This has been an exhaustive study process, 17 years, for the Corps to ensure that this project is economically and environmentally sound. The fact is that Port Everglades must have deeper water for the newer, larger generation of cargo ships that are replacing the older fleet worldwide, including those transiting the Panama Canal,” said Port Everglades Chief Executive & Port Director Steven Cernak. “We appreciate the dedicated efforts of our Broward County Commissioners, Governor Rick Scott, and our state and federal legislators, especially Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Lois Frankel, whose districts include Port Everglades, and who strongly advocated for the project in Tallahassee and Washington so that Port Everglades can continue to support jobs and provide economic stability to Florida.”
“We have reached a major milestone, but recognize that there are hurdles that we still need to overcome, and will, because Port Everglades is too important to Florida’s economy and must be able to compete in the global marketplace,” said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
“The combination of our Port’s three priority cargo projects – deepening, adding new berths and building an on-port freight rail facility – will create 7,000 new jobs locally and support another 135,000 jobs statewide when at full capacity in 2027,” said Broward County Mayor Kristin Jacobs. “The Corps has studied environmental impacts for the project extensively, and has explored various mitigation alternatives. We applaud the decision to move forward so that Port Everglades can continue to be the economic powerhouse it has always been in South Florida.”
A public meeting is scheduled for July 23 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center from 1 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.