The new Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) at the Port will lead the way for Florida to attract new international business to the state through its seaports and support the creation of an estimated 135,000 jobs for Florida families. The announcement comes on the heels of the Governor’s commitment earlier this month (January) for US$36m of state funding for JAXPORT.
Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) CEO Jim Hertwig said, “The new ICTF will allow the FEC to deliver a superior transportation service between South Florida and the Southeastern US. [It] will be able to handle the additional cargo of larger ships that are coming out of Europe today and when the Panama Canal expansion is complete and beyond.”
Port Everglades CEO port director Steven Cernak said, “An ICTF on Port Everglades property will not only ensure our seaport remains competitive with other US East Coast gateways, but will give our port a cost and time-to-market advantage over many of these gateways.”
This unique public–private partnership “Is consistent with Governor Scott’s efforts to expand support to Florida’s ports, leveraging private sector capital to complete the project,” he added.
The new 42.5-acre near-dock ICTF will facilitate containerised cargo transfer through the Port to/from the FEC main line by mid-2014. It will be unique compared to similar facilities at other ports in that both domestic and international cargo will be handled at the site, which will result in the advantageous transfer for Port Everglades customers and local companies.
FEC signed a long-term agreement with Broward County in March 2012 to build, operate and maintain the ICTF. Construction costs are estimated to be US$53m, which is funded by an US$18m grant from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and US$35m from FEC (including a US$30m State Infrastructure Bank loan from FDOT). Broward County contributed 42.5 acres of Port Everglades property, valued at US$20m for the ICTF.
FDOT is also constructing a US$40m overpass to elevate I-595/Eller Drive to allow the trains to access the Port at ground level for the ICTF. Construction on the overpass began in July 2011 and will be completed in 2014. The project will elevate traffic over the rail tracks, allowing for a better traffic flow and increased port activity.