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Port Everglades plans $80M in upgrades


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Port Everglades plans $80M in upgrades

Broward County's Port Everglades said will make more than $80 million worth of infrastructure improvements to keep up with the cruise industry.

"Cruise ships are getting bigger and so must we," Port Everglades Director Ken Krauter said. "We are making a financial commitment toward preparing for the future because we know the cruise industry will continue to expand in South Florida and the Caribbean."

Port Everglades is already one of the world's biggest home ports, hosting more than 4 million passengers in fiscal year 2004 - Oct. 1, 2003, to Sept. 30, 2004. The port set a world record in December 2003, accommodating 41,800 passengers and 15 cruise ships in a single day.

"We have experienced phenomenal growth in recent years as South Florida has become the hub of the cruise industry," said Carlos Buqueras, director of trade development for Port Everglades. "We are projecting continued strong growth for the foreseeable future, thanks to the planned expansion of the Port's facilities, growth of low-fare carriers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the prominence of Broward County as a popular visitor destination."

Nearly 50 cruise ships and 20 cruise lines call at Port Everglades. With the new generation of mega-ships, the port said it is expanding cruise passenger terminals to handle more people and their baggage, adding parking spaces to accommodate the domestic drive market and enhancing security.

Building and expanding

The port said it is expanding the baggage hall in passenger terminal 2, in the northern section of Port Everglades, from 25,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet to accommodate larger cruise ships. Port Everglades estimated the $2.5 million project will be complete in summer 2005.

The port said it will expand the baggage hall in passenger terminal 4 by 50,000 square, feet 26,000 square feet to a 76,000-square-foot baggage hall and waiting area. Port Everglades estimated completing the $4 million project during 2006/2007.

Passenger terminal 21, renovated and expanded in 2001, is to undergo a second expansion to enlarge its baggage hall from 19,000 square feet to 34,000 square feet. Port Everglades estimated completing the $1.74 million project in 2006.

Finally, the port said it will build its 12th full-time cruise terminal by reconfiguring terminal 27 and extending the berth to handle mega-ships. Port Everglades estimated completing the $16.4 million project in 2007/2008.

Park it

The Port Everglades plan also calls for additional traffic ramps to the Northport garage, which serves passenger terminals 1, 2 and 4, as well as the Broward County Convention Center.

That project is near completion at a cost of $3.6 million, the port said.

A second cruise passenger parking garage in Northport is to provide an additional 550 parking spaces in the first phase. The second phase will allow for an additional 1,250 spaces, for a total of 1,800 more spaces.

The port has slated the first $10.6 million phase of the project to be complete by the end of 2006.

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