Port Everglades ICTF begins to take shape
The Florida East Coast Railway has begun installing rail tracks and crane pads for a ship-to-rail terminal slated to open this summer at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, the port authority said Tuesday.
Florida East Coast (FEC) signed a 30-year concession in 2012 to build and operate the 43-acre near-dock intermodal container transfer facility. The project is estimated to cost $73 million, which includes a $20 million donation of port property.
The ICTF will allow the FEC to build 9,000-foot unit trains on six work tracks. Rubber-tyre gantry cranes will operate over the tracks and the FEC plan is for a "live lift/live load" operation to maximize efficiency.
One of the unique features of the facility is that it will handle both international and domestic cargo moving up the FEC's 351-mile route between Miami and Jacksonville, where it interchanges with the Norfolk Southern and CSX railroads. Cargo from South Florida can be in cities such as Atlanta and Charlotte within two days and Nashville and Memphis in three days.
The new site will replace the FEC's existing 12-acre intermodal yard currently located several miles from Port Everglades, eliminating congestion on local roads, reducing emissions and expediting transit times.
Administration buildings are also under construction at the ICTF site and the road to the facility is ready to be paved, Port Everglades said.
The FEC was able to secure an $18 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation and a $30 million loan from Florida's state infrastructure bank to help pay for construction.
The project, which broke ground last month, is part of Port Everglades' master plan to expand capacity for larger container vessels in service today. The port also plans to deepen berths to 50 feet and acquire five super-post Panamax cranes. It is also seeking final approval from Congress to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to deepen the main channel to 50 feet. That process remains up in the air pending the outcome of final language in the Water Resources Development Act reauthorization bill that is currently stalled in a House-Senate conference committee.
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