Congressman Allen West has announced the designation of $4.6 million to Port Everglades as part of the United States Corps of Engineers 2012 Work Plan for Operations and Maintenance dredging. In addition, another $600,000 has been designated for a Port Everglades feasibility study.
â€śI am pleased to announce this project will finally be able to move forward and our hard work has paid off,â€ť West said. â€śThe Port Everglades dredging project is directly tied to the number of ships that can get in and out of South Florida and has a direct impact on commerce and the entire economy of the region.â€ť
The announcement comes on the heels of the Army Corps of Engineers Roundtable discussion hosted by Representative West at Lynn University in Boca Raton late last year.
â€śThe Congressmanâ€™s willingness to host a roundtable to pull together all of the decision makers at the same table was vital to our success,â€ť said Port Everglades Deputy Director Glenn Wiltshire. â€ťRepresentative West facilitated the opportunity for people to ask and answer questions. Iâ€™m certain that was a factor in the Corpsâ€™ decision to fund the Port Everglades maintenance dredging project, which is greatly needed.â€ť
Congressman West met with Commanders of the United States Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville Division in his Capitol Hill office Tuesday to thank them for the Port Everglades designation and discuss the future of South Floridaâ€™s other ports including the St. Lucie inlet and the Port of Palm Beach. Topics of discussion included:
St. Lucie Inlet is currently 21-21.5 feet deep, and is maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers. The County and the Harbor Advisory Board would like to see the port dredged to 25-28 feet deep to allow for bigger ships to utilize the port, thus increasing commerce and bringing much needed jobs to the area.
Port of Palm Beach: Congressman West requested $460,000 in the Fiscal Year 2012 Work Plan for the Lake Worth Inlet Feasibility Study, which would help expand the capabilities at the Port. Congressman West learned this week the money has been approved for the Port of Palm Beach.
â€śThe future of these ports is critically important to the coastal areas of Southeast Florida,â€ť West said. â€śI will continue to be a voice for our ports so that South Florida remains a priority for the Army Corps of Engineers.â€ť
Dredging Today Staff, February 17, 2012; Image: porteverglades