PortMiami prepares for Panama expansion
PortMiami is investing around US$2bn in capital improvement projects in preparation for the Panama Canal expansion, scheduled for completion in 2015.
The Florida port’s Deep Dredge project, which is expected to begin in summer 2013, will deepen its existing channel from 42 ft to 50 ft, allowing it to accommodate the new, mega cargo vessels that will pass through the expanded canal.
The port says the project, which will create 33,000 jobs, will make it the only US port south of Norfolk that can accommodate the larger vessels and will double cargo throughput. As the closest US port to Panama, PortMiami expects to benefit from Asian trade and increase its annual economic impact to more than US$34bn.
The port, which already has two super Post-Panamax cranes, has purchased four additional super post-Panamax cranes, which are currently under construction. These will have the capacity to handle the new generation of large container cargo vessels of over 10,000 teu with increased speed and efficiency.
A port tunnel, scheduled for completion in summer 2014, is also being constructed underneath Biscayne Bay to provide quicker access for port bound trucks and to reduce traffic congestion in Miami.
To round it off, the port will also be strengthening its cargo bulkhead and seawalls and will be introducing an on-port rail service.
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