Federal, state and local elected officials joined local business leaders yesterday to welcome the news that Broward County’s long-awaited Port Everglades Navigation Improvements Project to deepen and widen the port’s navigational channels can now begin with $29.1 million in funding under the Army Corps FY 2020 Work Plan.
The funding will be used to build a new facility for the U.S. Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale so the Intracoastal Waterway can be widened by 250 feet. The Coast Guard Station reconfiguration is the first phase of the larger dredging project.
“Beyond job creation, the deepening and widening project at Port Everglades will open it up to larger, more efficient cargo and cruise ships. It will also improve the ability of larger ships to navigate through the port,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
According to the officials, the Port’s Navigation Improvements Project is anticipated to create an estimated 2,200 construction jobs and nearly 1,500 additional permanent direct jobs locally resulting from additional cargo capacity.
The Coast Guard station reconfiguration is estimated to be completed by November 2023 at a total cost of approximately $39 million, with $29.1 million paid with federal funds and the balance paid through port revenue and state grant funds.
“This is a bi-partisan effort to make our navigation channels safer, globally competitive and environmental progressive,” said Glenn Wiltshire, Port Everglades Acting Chief Executive and Port Director. “Addressing this chokepoint is a critical step to widening the Intracoastal Waterway so cargo ships are able to transit to and from the southern part of the port.”