PortMiami Dredging Clears Way for Mega Ships

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 24, 2015

  • Dredger in PortMiami (Photo: Port Miami)
  • Post-Panamax cranes arrive in Miami in 2013 (Photo: Port Miami)
  • Dredger in PortMiami (Photo: Port Miami) Dredger in PortMiami (Photo: Port Miami)
  • Post-Panamax cranes arrive in Miami in 2013 (Photo: Port Miami) Post-Panamax cranes arrive in Miami in 2013 (Photo: Port Miami)

PortMiami Deep Dredge gives businesses the infrastructure necessary for growth

The completion of the PortMiami deep dredge project, which deepens the port’s main harbor channel from 42 feet to a depth of 52 feet to accommodate Post-Panamax ships, was announced by Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Of the total $220 million cost for the channel deepening, the state of Florida invested $112 million and Miami-Dade County invested $108 million. Governor Scott announced plans to fully fund the $77 million federal shortfall for the port dredging project in March 2011 so that Florida could take advantage of enhanced international trade with the widening of the Panama Canal. Since taking office in 2011, Governor Scott has invested more than $850 million in seaport improvements statewide.

“We did not wait on the federal government to fund this important project. We stepped up because we want Florida to be a global leader in trade and it’s exciting to see the completion of this project,” Governor Scott said. “Even more exciting, is the 33,000 jobs this project will create for families. This week, we also learned that Florida is home to four of the country’s 10 fastest growing ports, and it’s certain that the investment in PortMiami’s infrastructure has better positioned our entire state for continued growth. The completion of the PortMiami deep dredge is historic for all of Florida as PortMiami officially becomes the only major global trade hub south of Virginia capable of handling bigger, more modern post-Panamax ships.”

The state is also contributing $20 million toward the purchase of four new Super Post-Panamax cranes to enable loading and unloading of larger Post-Panamax ships and $10.9 million for Intermodal Freight Rail Restoration at the port.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said, “The completion of the deep dredge and the intermodal on-dock rail project are a major milestone not only for Miami-Dade County and PortMiami, but for all of Florida because the entire Sunshine State will benefit from increased trade opportunities once the expanded Panama Canal opens in 2016. I thank Governor Rick Scott, our state legislators, county commissioners and all who advocated for these critical projects. The completion of both projects ensures that PortMiami will remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Boxold said, “Florida DOT is proud to be a partner in deepening the PortMiami channel. I applaud Governor Scott for being a champion for Florida’s seaports. This project is another example of the Governor’s emphasis on large scale, game changing infrastructure improvements in Florida that will result in a solid return on investment for state taxpayers.”

“A new big ship era is here, and PortMiami is ready,” said PortMiami Director and CEO Juan M. Kuryla. “I am proud to say that PortMiami is now able to berth Post-Panamax ships; and we are able to expedite the movement of goods throughout Florida, the continental U.S., and the world, fast and efficiently. “We are grateful to the vision of our State and local leaders for making this critical infrastructure project a reality. The completion of PortMiami’s Deep Dredge and Intermodal On-dock Rail projects cannot be overstated, PortMiami is now positioned as the most reliable, convenient and efficient global hub on the North American East Coast ready to service the world’s leading ocean carriers.”

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