Broward County Commission Approves Port Everglades Master/Vision Plan

Port Everglades received approval today from the Broward County Board of County Commissioners to move forward with a comprehensive Master/Vision Plan - including a five-year Capital Improvement Plan, and 10- and 20-year Vision Plans.  Environmental concerns relating to the release of the Conservation Easement, which impacts the Turning Notch, will be discussed in a separate County Commission workshop to take place within the next 60 days.

Highlights of the 20-year Vision Plan include:

  • Reconfiguration of berths to accommodate larger cruise, cargo and petroleum ships
  • Construction of an intermodal container transfer facility (ICTF) to link to the existing Florida rail system and reduce truck traffic on the roadways
  • Addition of an aggregate facility to import crushed rock
  • Replacement of the majority of bulkhead infrastructure within a 20-year period
  • Expansion of cruise terminals to allow for the new generation of mega-cruise ships
  • Carving out the Broward County Convention Center from the secure area of the Port.A bypass road will be added to allow convention attendees to access the Convention Center without having to go through a security gate.
  • Implementation of roadway improvements to make traffic flow in the Port jurisdictional area more efficient.
  • Maintaining a safe habitat for the abundant manatee population that migrates to Port Everglades each winter.
  • Improving the functionality of the sensitive environment in Westlake Park, including the mangroves, sea grass and wetlands that support the park's wildlife.
  • Implementation of a "Green Port Program" to manage the Port environment through integrated decision-making with Port operations, tenants, customers and the general public.
The Port's five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), has now been revised to reflect the master plan projects to be implemented in the Fiscal Years 2008 to Year 2012.  Some of the projects in the CIP are already underway or in the planning process, and others have been added as part of the Master/Vision Plan.  The total budget amount for the five-year CIP is $418,550,000, which $112,896,000 would be potential debt funded, $72,912,000 funded by private investment and $50,350,000 from grant funds - leaving $182,392,000 for the Port Everglades Department to fund through Port revenue.   The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County government and does not rely on local tax dollars for operations.
The entire Port Everglades Master/Vision Plan document - 5-Year Plan and 10- and 20-Year Vision Plans - are available online, at www.portevergladesmasterplanupdate.com .

BACKGROUND

In 2006, the Broward County Port Everglades Department retained the services of DMJM Harris, a nationally recognized engineering, planning and economic analysis consulting firm, to prepare a comprehensive Master/Vision Plan including a five-year Capital Improvement Plan, and 10- and 20-year Vision Plans for the South Florida seaport. In preparing the Plan, DMJM Harris assessed the changes that have taken place regionally, nationally, internationally and at the Port since 2001 when Port Everglades' presented its original 20-year Vision Master/Vision Plan.  The assessment included changing business trends and adjustments that have resulted in the post-9/11 environment.

Port stakeholders and the public were invited to provide input during a series of workshops over the course of the Plan's development, including three public workshops at the Broward County Library that were held in the evenings, and two workshops with the Broward County Commission.  The consulting team also conducted one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders whose businesses are located at Port Everglades.

CRUISE IMPROVEMENTS IN 5-YEAR PLAN

Six of Port Everglades' 12 cruise terminals would be renovated or expanded during the five-year Capital Improvement Plan.  

Terminal 18 will undergo two phases of renovations.  The first phase will convert approximately 33,000 square feet of existing warehouse space into a cruise ship passenger baggage area capable of accommodating a Voyager-class cruise ship with 3,100 passengers.  The second phase would accommodate a Genesis-class ship of 5,400 to 6,400 passengers and would provide an additional 72,000 square feet of interior space.

Terminal 4 in the Northport section of Port Everglades and Terminal 19 in Midport are slated to be redeveloped and expanded to accommodate larger cruise ships.  Adjacent Terminals 21 and 22 would be combined so that there is more space for passengers and baggage sailing on mega-cruise ships.  And Terminal 2 in Northport will be renovated with a new entrance lobby as part the separation of the Broward County Convention Center from the seaport.

A 1,200 parking space parking structure will be added to the Midport cruise area, which would provide for a total of 3,203 spaces in the Midport area.  Roadways leading to and from the cruise terminal areas would also be widened and improved to accommodate more taxis and for more efficient traffic flow.


CARGO IMPROVEMENTS IN 5-YEAR PLAN

A crushed rock aggregate terminal is envisioned to be added in Southport to help meet Florida's needs for this construction material to be imported from off-shore locations.  Currently, the majority of the state's crushed rock is mined regionally. Private investment will pay for the facility, which will consist of mooring structures, enclosed conveyors, an enclosed storage building and rail yard.

The first phase of an Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) will link existing railroad tracks to Southport to transport crushed rock aggregate.  Future plans call for the ICTF to transport containerized cargo.

The Turning Notch in Southport would be lengthened to accommodate the crushed rock aggregate vessels and larger post-Panamax cargo ships.  This project would require the release of 8.7 acres of an existing Conservation Easement and mitigation of mangroves in this area, which will be the subject of a County Commission workshop to be held within the next 60 days.

One crane in Midport will be replaced with a mobile harbor crane and the other existing rail mounted crane will be refurbished.  Both will operate on bio-diesel fuel.  The transit shed at Berth 16 will be demolished to allow for more container yard area.

In Southport, where the majority of Port Everglades' container terminals are located, the Phase VIII parcel will be developed with pavement, drainage and lighting to make way for more container terminal area.

McIntosh Road, which is the entryway to the Southport container terminals, will be realigned to create a loop road with ample turning radii for trucks so that all trucks will have to make right-hand turns into the terminals.  The roadway section will have both de-acceleration and acceleration lanes at terminal entrances in addition to the through lanes.

A new intermodal bridge over the FPL Discharge Canal will connect the cargo areas at Midport to the cargo areas at Southport so that trucks do not have to travel in and out of the security gates once they are already inside the Port.

Empty tanks on County-owned property that were once used to store molasses will be available for lease by private interests.  The tanks could be refurbished for storing petroleum or bio-fuel products.

A 15-acre site west of McIntosh Road in Southport would be used to relocate on-port Foreign-Trade Zone buildings.  This project would go through a competitive bidding process in the development community so that capital costs would be covered by private investment.


ABOUT PORT EVERGLADES

As one of South Florida's leading economic engines, Port Everglades is the gateway for international trade and cruise vacations.  Port Everglades is one of the busiest cruise ports worldwide.  It is among the fastest growing container ports in the United States, according to the PIERS import/export database.  And, Port Everglades is South Florida's main seaport for receiving petroleum products including, gasoline and jet fuel.  The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County government with operating revenues of approximately $117 million in FY2006.  It does not rely on local tax dollars for operations.   The total value of economic activity at Port Everglades surpasses almost $17 billion.  More than 188,000 Florida jobs are impacted by the Port, including 11,000 people who work for companies that provide direct services to Port Everglades.
More information on Port Everglades, which is governed by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, is available on the Internet at www.broward.org/port, e-mailing PortEverglades@broward.org, or by calling 954-523-3404.