Two major milestones have been met, with the release of the draft tentatively selected plan for the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Study and the Port Everglades Feasibility Study.
The project delivery teams for both projects overcame insurmountable odds to meet deadlines for the release of both of these critical reports to the public.
The district is conducting the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Study to consider increasing the depth of the existing federal channel along the St. Johns River from its current project depth of 40 feet to a maximum depth of 47 feet. In June, the district released a tentatively selected plan to the public and held a community meeting to present and discuss the plan. The meeting was attended by more than 100 stakeholders who expressed both their support and concerns about the study.
In early July, the district released its draft report for the Port Everglades Harbor Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement for public review. The study addresses the potential widening of the entrance channel and deepening the navigation channel from its current 42 feet to a depth of 48 feet. The primary objectives of the project are to decrease costs associated with vessel delays resulting from congestion and channel passing restrictions, decrease transportation costs and increase channel safety and maneuverability for existing and larger vessel use. Two public meetings were held in Fort Lauderdale, to provide the public with an overview of the draft selected plan. A total of nearly 400 people attended the two meetings, with a majority expressing overwhelming support for the project.
Both projects are on track to go before the Civil Works Review Board later this year, with a goal of achieving a signed Chief of Engineers’ Report early next year.