A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report on the proposed deepening of Florida’s Port Everglades has said the project would improve safety and lessen delays, allowing more cargo to move through the port, according to the Miami Herald.
However, the study also acknowledged that there would be some inevitable environmental damage caused by the construction. The release of the report late last week kicked off an official 45-day comment period in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
The proposed deepening from 42 feet to 48 feet would cost $313 million, allowing the port to handle post-Panamax cargo ships, according to the report. The federal government would provide about two-thirds of the funding and the remaining $102 million would be drawn from state funds and fees levied on ships. Broward County, Fla., would not be expected to contribute any funding to the renovations.
Meanwhile, Broward County and Port Everglades officials have applauded the release of the Corps’ feasibility report:
“This has been an exhaustive study process — 17 years — for the Corps to ensure that this project is economically and environmentally sound,” said Steven Cernak, Port Everglades’ chief executive and port director. “The fact is that Port Everglades must have deeper water for the newer, larger generation of cargo ships that are replacing the older fleet worldwide, including those transiting the Panama Canal.”