Florida East Coast Railway’s $53 million, 42.5-acre intermodal container transfer facility at Port Everglades is making progress and is expected to open in mid-2014.
The near-dock facility, located on the Florida port’s property, will be used to transfer domestic and international shipping containers between ship and rail, eliminating the need for trucks to haul containers to and from off-port rail terminals. It will replace FEC’s existing 12-acre Andrews Avenue intermodal yard, which is located two miles from the port in Fort Lauderdale. Construction on the new ICTF began in July 2011.
“The Port Everglades ICTF allows us to build 9,000 foot unit trains within the facility without blocking any streets,” said Jim Hertwig, FEC president, in a written statement. “The trains will then go to places such as Atlanta and Charlotte in two days, or Nashville and Memphis in three days.”
Port Everglades contributed the land for the ICTF valued at $19 million. Construction costs are estimated to total $53 million, which will be paid through $18 million in grants from the Florida Department of Transportation’s Strategic Intermodal System program, a $30 million FDOT State Infrastructure Bank loan and $5 million from FEC’s capital plan.
“Our natural trade routes are north-south, where we are seeing tremendous growth in South America and Central America,” said Steven Cernak, Port Everglades’ chief executive and port director. “With the expansion of the Panama Canal, Port Everglades will have the potential to see the north-south trade lanes intersect with the east-west trade routes, so there is great expectation for additional growth in our business which will be facilitated by the ICTF.”