American Shipper

Port of Miami credits senators on dredging

Port of Miami credits senators on dredging

Officials from the Port of Miami Friday credited the state's U.S. senators for getting $500,000 into the Senate Energy and Water Bill for the port's Phase III Dredging project to deepen channels into the port.

   The money will be used for engineering and design work needed for ultimate approval of the project at the federal level. The dredging project, once completed, will deepen the entrance channel to 52 feet and the main channel to 50 feet.

   “Dredging of the Miami Harbor is critical to the business environment of the marine industries in South Florida,' said Senator Bill Nelson.    'This project is expected to have a significant economic impact on employment, cargo volumes and new business investment at the Port of Miami.'

   Port of Miami acting director Bill Johnson said the dredging is critical to the port's long-term ability to grow and meet market demands.

   'Right now we have a draft of 42-feet,' he said. 'Phase III Dredging is critical as it will accommodate larger vessels, such as super-post Panamax vessels, which need much larger drafts. The industry trend right now is, the larger the ship, the more capacity, so we need to be able to accommodate this trend in years to come.'

   In addition to the work done by Nelson and Sen. Mel Martinez, a port statement noted the work done on behalf of the dredging project by the Miami-Dade congressional delegation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Gov. Jeb Bush, the Miami-Dade delegation of the Florida legislature, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Miami-Dade County Chairman Joe Martinez and the county commissioners.