Miami Harbor Channel (Deepening) FL (C)

May 2024


Miami Harbor Channel (Deepening), FL 
Construction (C)
Congressional Districts: 24, 27, 28


The current project’s construction consisted of deepening the outer channel from 44 feet to 52 feet and the inner channel from 42 feet to 50 feet with widening and was completed in 2015. Fisherman’s Channel was widened to the south by 100 feet and a turn widener was constructed at the southern confluence of the main outer channel and the inner channels. Fisherman’s Channel located on the south side of Dodge Island terminates in a turning basin centered on the existing Lummus Island turning basin. The turning basin now has a depth of 50 feet and a diameter of 1,500 feet. The Main Channel located on the north side of Dodge Island contains the cruise ship berths and has a current depth of 36 feet.


Estimated Total Cost $235,00,000
Estimated Federal Cost    $108,700,000


    a. Regular Civil Works Funds:

Allocation thru FY23 $3,023,000
Allocation for FY24  $0
President’s Budget FY25 $0



Port Miami
1015 North American Way, 2nd Floor
Miami, FL 33132


Following a General Reevaluation Report and Environmental Impact Statement completed in February 2004 and a Chief’s Report signed on 25 March 2005, the project was authorized for construction in Section 1001(17) of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-114). Construction of the Miami Harbor Deepening and Widening Project, commonly referred to as the “Phase 3 Deepening” project, began in October 2013 and was completed in September 2015 with the removal of over 5,000,000 cubic yards of material. This project marked the first major port deepening to -50 ft Mean Lower Low Water in the southeastern United States. 

The alternative financing Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) allowed for the non-federal sponsor to advance the entire federal share of the project, thereby advancing the completion of construction years ahead of schedule. Current obligations paid by the Port is $172,193,079.  No reimbursements have been appropriated since completing construction.

Along with deepening, mitigation construction was also completed (over 12 acres of artificial reef and 17 acres of seagrass beds). Resource agencies reported significant loss of coral and benthic habitat in proximity to the entrance channel because of the Phase 3 Deepening project; however, no resolution to this claim has occurred between the Corps, the Port, and the agencies. Secondary project-related impacts via sedimentation to adjacent benthic habitat are still being analyzed. A concluding assessment of project-related impacts are confounded by the documented catastrophic and regional-scale coral bleaching/disease outbreak that started in the fall of 2014.

In the time since the last study was done and the resulting constructed project, a larger class of Post-Panamax containerships have joined the world fleet and are comprised of Post-Panamax size container ships with capacities of up to 14,400 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) calling the Atlantic seaboard. The Port and pilots have expressed plans for additional cruise berths and the accommodation of 14,000-TEU vessels. The current Miami Channel was designed and built to accommodate the Susan Maersk 8,000-TEU vessel.