Port Canaveral will get $24.4 million in funding from the State of Florida to complete its harbor widening and deepening project to accommodate larger cruise and cargo ships.
The port is planning to deepen its channel to 46 feet from the current 44-foot depth and expand the width to 500 feet from 400 feet at present. Construction work will begin in July 2013 and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2014.
The draft of the port’s cargo and passenger berths ranges between 35 and 40 feet.
State funding of the project through the Florida Department of Transportation will allow the project to be completed four years earlier than possible through the federal process.
Florida has become a strong supporter of its ports’ expansion programs under the administration of Gov. Rick Scott, who has committed $112 million in state funding to deepen Miami’s harbor to 50 feet.
“Port Canaveral is a key component to the region’s long-term vitality and a driving economic force of the Space Coast, as well as Central Florida’s hub to the world,” Scott said during his visit to Port Canaveral. “This Port and this region cannot wait several more years for this crucial project to be complete.”
A FDOT study shows every $1 invested in seaports generates $7 for the state’s economy. The channel improvement project is expected to yield $11 for every dollar invested.