The US$35m harbour widening and deepening project at Port Canaveral, Florida to allow larger ships greater safety margins for sailing in and out of the port is scheduled to begin next month (April) with completion in November 2014. The project to widen Port Canaveral’s 400 feet (122 m) wide harbour by 100 feet (30 m) and deepen the entrance by two feet to 46 feet (14 m) cleared the final two US Army Corps of Engineers permitting hurdles last week.
“The Canaveral Port Authority’s decision to utilise alternative federal processes that allow seaports to self-fund required studies and permits allowed us to arrive at this critical juncture 10 years earlier than taking the traditional route,” said Port Canaveral CEO John Walsh.
Unfortunately it appears that Corps of Engineers has deferred approval to fund maintenance dredging of the harbour until after the deepening and widening project has been completed. Once the still-pending Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill is passed, the Army Corps will be required to fund dredging costs, but there is no guarantee the WRDA will pass or keep all provisions in place.