The Southport Turning Notch Extension project will lengthen the existing deepwater turn-around area for cargo ships from 900 feet to 2,400 feet, which will allow for up to five new cargo berths.
The cost for the extension is estimated to be $122 million, which includes $13.3 million appropriated in FY13, and an additional $58.2 million in the Florida Department of Transportation's 5-year work-program FY14-18.
This project is projected to provide a $10.7 billion annual increase in economic activity related to the Port, and create 2,227 construction jobs in the near term and 5,529 regional jobs by the year 2027 when it is expected to be fully utilized at its maximum capacity.
A critical part of the Southport Turning Notch Extension includes replacing 8.7 acres of an existing mangrove conservation easement with a 16.5-acre upland enhancement of approximately 70,000 new mangroves, plants, and seeds as well as completing a number of environmental improvements in West Lake Park. Port officials worked closely with port users, the environmental community, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to develop the plan for the new mangrove habitat.