Port Everglades received unanimous approval yesterday from the Broward County Board of County Commissioners to begin a $437.5 million expansion project to add new berths for larger cargo ships and install crane rail infrastructure for new Super Post-Panamax cranes.
Currently, Port Everglades is berth constrained and additional dock space for cargo ships is needed, especially as the port has become Florida’s leader for containerized cargo volumes, they said in its latest release.
The Southport Turning Notch Expansion (STNE) project will lengthen the existing deepwater turn-around area for cargo ships from approximately 900 feet to 2,400 feet, which will allow for up to five new cargo berths.
The existing gantry crane rails will be extended to the full length of the extended Turning Notch berth to utilize the existing cranes.
A separate agreement to purchase three new Super Post-Panamax container gantry cranes, to be delivered in 2019, and an option to purchase two or three additional cranes, will be presented to the Broward County Commission in June.
“The Southport Turning Notch Extension was identified as a critical project in our 2006 Master/Vision Plan. We will now be able to meet the demands of our current customers and work with them to grow their businesses, in addition to providing the infrastructure necessary to attract new customers,” said Steven Cernak, Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director.
A critical part of the STNE includes replacing 8.7 acres of an existing mangrove conservation easement with a 16.5-acre upland enhancement of approximately 70,000 new mangroves and wetland plants, a project element that is now completed, as well as completing a number of environmental improvements in West Lake Park.
Port officials worked closely with port users, the environmental community, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to develop the plan for the new mangrove habitat.