Port Everglades is partnering with public and private entities on infrastructure improvements to improve connections with South Florida’s major highway and railroad systems.
“Landside congestion plagues many seaports, but Port Everglades is fortunate to have direct interstate highway access and a strong partnership with the Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) that keeps commerce on the move,” said Port Everglades CEO and port director Steven Cernak.
Most recently, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) invested US$42.5m to build the Eller Drive Overpass, which allows vehicles entering Port Everglades to travel unimpeded over two new at-grade rail tracks that lead into the FECR’s new intermodal container transfer facility (ICTF). International cargo goes into the FECR rail yard directly from inside the port, and domestic trucks have a separate entrance under the Eller Drive Overpass.
Port Everglades also partnered with FDOT to realign McIntosh Road, the main roadway in the Port’s Southport containerised cargo area. Construction included additional lanes so that it is now an efficient multi-lane loop road with ample room for truck staging.
In addition to landside improvements, longer-term capital projects include adding cargo berths, deepening and widening the navigation channels, purchasing new super post-Panamax gantry cranes and completing capacity upgrades to the existing gantry cranes.
Already underway and slated for completion in 2019, Port Everglades will be adding new cargo berths in its Southport Turning Notch Extension project, which will lengthen the existing deep-water turn-around area for cargo ships from 900 ft (274 m) to 2,400 ft (731 m). Super post-Panamax gantry cranes will also be added to serve the existing Southport container berths, and the crane rails will be extended to the full length of the extended Turning Notch to better utilise existing cranes.
The Port is also pushing ahead with an 18-year effort to deepen and widen its navigational channels and turning basin to handle larger cargo ships. The main features are to deepen the main navigational channels from 42 ft (12.8 m) to total of 50 ft (15.2 m) and widen the Entrance Channel and Southport access channel.