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Cernak - plan takes hard look at market trends to ensure port continues as an economic powerhouse

Port Everglades plans for long-term cruise growth to 5.6m pax moves/year

With Port Everglades' cruise business forecast to reach 5.6m passenger moves in 2033 compared to the 4m expected in fiscal 2014, various infrastructure upgrades are planned including extending berths to handle larger ships, improving several cruise terminals and adding a new parking garage.

The 2014 Master/Vision Plan approved Tuesday identifies $1.6bn in capital investments to improve facilities for the cruise, cargo and petroleum sectors.

The plan resulted from port staff and maritime consultant AECOM Technical Services holding more than 20 meetings with customers, stakeholders and the general public over the past year.

Current keystone capital improvement projects include lengthening the Southport Turning Notch from 900 feet to 2,400 feet to add up to five new cargo berths, deepening and widening the navigation channels and, opening this July, the Florida East Coast Railway’s new intermodal container transfer facility.

Cruise-related projects in the five-year Master Plan include lengthening Slip 2 for larger cruise ships using Cruise Terminal 4 and improving Cruise Terminal 25 by adding an enclosed corridor to Cruise Terminal 22/24.

Longer-term cruise projects in the 10- and 20-year Vision Plans include Cruise Terminal 29 improvements, filling in the Tracor Basin to lengthen Berth 29 to accommodate larger cruise ships and building a new parking garage for Cruise Terminals 2 and 4 in Northport.

This is the second update to the original Master/Vision Plan adopted in 2006. According to Port Everglades chief executive and port director Steve Cernak, the port commission at that time directed staff to update the plan every two to three years to take a 'hard look at market trends and how we could maximize existing facilities to ensure that Port Everglades continues to be an economic powerhouse.'

In addition to cruise growth, the port is expected to continue as Florida's leading containerized cargo port and to triple the amount of non-containerized cargo from current levels and increase petroleum products, with jet fuel surpassing gasoline as the top petroleum commodity.

The complete 2014 Master/Vision Plan is at www.portevergladesmasterplan.com.

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