The world's third largest cruise port, Port Everglades in Greater Fort Lauderdale, FL, received unanimous approval for its 20-Year Master/Vision Plan Update from the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, which manages port operations.
Updated from 2014, this plan is a "roadmap" of sorts for the port's infrastructure and operational enhancements planned for the next five, 10 and 20 years of development and capital improvements. Within the next decade alone, 50 different projects are planned.
Among Port Everglades' upcoming cruise-related enhancements is a new 1,818-space parking garage to serve Cruise Terminals 2 and 4. It's set to be completed in October 2020. It will have more elevator banks and an air-conditioned bridge with moving walkways to deliver guests to Terminal 2.
Major renovations also are planned to four cruise terminals and the addition of a finger pier to increase the port’s capacity for handling the larger cruise ships of the future.
Numerous road improvements also are planned to help traffic flow. In addition, a future project is construction of a People Mover to connect Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Port Everglades and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
Growth and Economic Benefits
"This 20-Year Master/Vision Plan update is comprehensive and strategically paves the way for future growth and progress at Port Everglades," said Broward County Mayor Dale V.C. Holness. "Cruise, cargo and fuel operations generate billions of dollars of economic activity and creates thousands of jobs and personal income."
They also offer opportunities for small businesses to grow and prosper, he added. Port Everglades is one of Broward County’s leading economic engines, generating nearly $32 billion in economic activity annually while supporting 13,000 local jobs for those working at the port and companies providing direct services.
"The Port remains very successful, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Holness. "This master/vision update keeps us moving forward, even in the face of adversity. The future is very promising at Port Everglades."
Port Everglades updates its Master/Vision Plan every two to five years to consider market trends, new technology, community development and environmental initiatives. Port staffers have been working with a consultant team from Bermello Ajamil & Partners, for the past 21 months.
More than 40 outreach meetings have been conducted to update the plan, based on the latest market research, business intelligence from port customers and insight from environmental advocates and local residents.
Other Projects Underway
The Master/Vision Plan has steered Port Everglades to becoming the third largest cruise port in the world, one of the nation’s largest containerized cargo ports and South Florida’s main hub for gasoline and jet fuel.
The largest construction project in the port's history at $471 million is already under way. A Southport Turning Notch Extension will lengthen the current ship turnaround area from 900 feet to 2,400 feet to add new cargo berths and crane rail infrastructure.
Another project under way, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Harbor Navigation Improvement Project to deepen and widen the port's channels, received U.S. Congressional authorization in December 2016.
In February 2020, the first phase of the project was included in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers fiscal year 2020 work plan. That involved $29.1 million in federal funding to widen the Intracoastal Waterway and reconfigure the U.S. Coast Guard station east of its current location.
As a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County, FL, government with operating revenues of almost $170.7 million in fiscal year 2019 (October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019), Port Everglades does not rely on local tax dollars for operations.
For a copy of the Port Everglades 20-Year Master/Vision Plan Update, visit porteverglades.net.