The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and Port Everglades have received unanimous approval from the Corps’ Civil Works Review Board for the Port Everglades Harbor Feasibility Study following their presentation in Washington, D.C.
The board unanimously recommended that the Corps move forward with the final state/agency review of the report.
This marks a significant milestone for the study and recommended navigation improvement plan, which includes deepening and widening the harbor. The report outlines the major national benefits of the project, including transportation cost savings and increased economic efficiency of the port.
The configuration of the current Federal project dates back to the 1980s, making it difficult to accommodate today’s larger container and tanker vessels. The port’s primary problems are channel and turning basins that don’t meet current world fleet requirements.
The existing channel project depth of 42-feet doesn’t provide adequate, safe depth for large tankers and container ships currently visiting the harbor. The next generation of container ships and oil tankers requires significantly more channel depth to operate efficiently.
Navigation is further challenged by strong and unpredictable cross currents in and near the outer entrance channel.
The study and recommended plan accommodates existing and future vessel movements, resolves navigation restriction problems, and presents opportunities for national economic development.
Since release of the draft feasibility study in June 2013, the Corps has continued consultation with state and federal agencies regarding the new endangered species coral listings, and refining the mitigation and monitoring plans.
The next step in the process is the final state and agency review in March, followed by completion of the Chief of Engineers Report in May 2015. The construction phase could take an additional five years, or more, depending on the funding stream and phasing of the work, which the Corps will address during the PED phase.