Port Everglades Milestone Reached: $29 Million Allotted to Start Job-Creating Port Expansion After Wasserman Schultz Push
Beyond job creation, the deepening and widening project at Port Everglades will open it up to larger, more efficient cargo and cruise ships. It will also improve the ability of larger ships to navigate through the Port, ensuring that tourist and commercial vessels can enter and exit the Port more quickly and safely.
Washington DC – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) announced today that Port Everglades in Broward County has been awarded $29 million to begin construction on the first phase of a long-awaited deepening and widening project designed to spur economic activity there.
“This is tremendous news for Broward County and all of South Florida,” said Wasserman Schultz. “Beyond job creation, the deepening and widening project at Port Everglades will open it up to larger, more efficient cargo and cruise ships. It will also improve the ability of larger ships to navigate through the Port, ensuring that tourist and commercial vessels can enter and exit the Port more quickly and safely.”
The project, which is projected to create 2,200 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs, will enable safe passage of next-generation cruise ships and deep draft Neo-Panamax cargo ships. As the nation’s leading gateway for trade with Latin America, the Port already handles Neo-Panamax ships from Europe and South America, but the ships must be lightly loaded, which becomes more and more inefficient as older fleets are being replaced with much larger ships.
This first phase involves the reconfiguration of the U.S. Coast Guard Station Ft. Lauderdale to allow for the widening of the channel. This new construction-start milestone follows years of persistent advocacy as a Member of the House Appropriations Committee, specifically, the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, and a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a written request submitted to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.
Earlier this year, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz led a bipartisan letter (see attached) with other South Florida colleagues to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James to request this new start and funding. U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Lois Frankel (FL-21) and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) joined forces on that letter. Additionally, Wasserman Schultz led Assistant Secretary James on a tour of Port Everglades last April to showcase the important infrastructure projects at the Port. Achieving this new construction start is the result of more than 15 years of advocacy by area Members of Congress and community leaders.