Tag Archive for: infrastructure improvements

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WSP USA’s extensive experience with maritime structures has helped facilitate a critical expansion at Florida’s leading container port – while at the same time mitigating the project’s environmental impacts.

The Turning Notch Expansion aims to increase berthing space to accommodate larger modern container ships at Port Everglades. The Port handles more than 1 million 20-foot-equivalent units of cargo volume and serves as a gateway to Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

The program is an important component of the Port Everglades masterplan which identified this project to double the containerized cargo capacity of the existing port over the next decade, and to allow for berthing of super post-Panamax vessels.

To accommodate these larger ships, the port initiated the redevelopment of 25 acres of container yard and berthing apron space at its Southport Turning Notch. WSP was hired by Broward County to provide civil and structural engineering design services and serve as a specialty consultant for port-related design issues for the $500 million project, which is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2023.

The project is being delivered via a general contractor/construction manager, where the contractor is selected and engaged early in the design phase of the project to help mitigate risk.

Infrastructure Improvements

The scope includes excavation of three million cubic yards of material to create a 42-foot-deep turnaround area for cargo ships, along with five additional berths, including a Super Post-Panamax berth. Marine and landside improvements entailed 5,000 feet of seawall/wharf and marine and utility infrastructure, including a stormwater drainage system comprising 7,200 feet of pipe and 1,900 feet of exfiltration trenches.

The project also consists of landside infrastructure improvements to support the acquisition of six additional Super Post-Panamax gantry cranes in Southport along Berths 31 and 32 as well as Berth 30. Additionally, the existing 100-foot gauge rails along Berth 30 project are also being extended westward to the limits of the new Southport Turning Notch Extension.

WSP’s scope for the expansion required the design of nearly one mile of new steel bulkhead wall, evaluation of an existing steel bulkhead wall, removal of several acres of land, container yard upgrades and improvements and fender and mooring hardware upgrades. Furthermore, Berth 30 – which is 970 feet long and located within the notch – has to remain operational during construction.

“WSP worked closely with the owner and the contractor team to execute the multi—faceted and highly publicized project in a timely manner within an operational terminal,” said Kosal Krishnan, WSP national maritime leader.

WSP also deployed construction administration staff and provided round the clock technical services in support of construction.

Marine Habitat Mitigation

To offset the project’s environmental impacts, WSP developed environmental mitigation to satisfy permit requirements. In the project’s first stage, the team restored approximately 16.5 acres of upland mangrove marsh by excavating fill to re-contour the marsh, then planting 70,000 Florida-native, nursery-grown mangrove and wetland transition buffer plants.

The mitigation design created additional mangrove habitat through the construction of riprap planters and restored the shoreline of an existing manatee nursery area by removing existing nuisance exotic vegetation and reconfiguring the eroded shore. For reef mitigation, 814 corals were relocated to create three acres of artificial reef habitat for natural recruitment, ultimately replacing nearly 15 acres of existing hard-bottom reef habitat.

“WSP monitors the mangrove and reef habitat on a quarterly basis to document the success of these mitigation areas, and ongoing observations of wildlife have revealed wading birds, shorebirds and other highly mobile avian species,” Krishnan said.

Located within the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Dania Beach, Port Everglades is in the heart of one of the world’s largest consumer regions, with a constant flow of approximately 110 million visitors statewide and six million residents within an 80-mile radius. The port has direct access to the interstate highway system and the Florida East Coast Railway’s 43-acre intermodal container transfer facility and is closer to the Atlantic Shipping Lanes than any other Southeastern U.S. port.

 

Source: wsp

 

broward county

Greater Fort Lauderdale is in the midst of a development boom.

With Virgin Trains opening up the South Florida corridor, high-profile celebrity projects underway and dozens of cranes dotting the region’s skyline, Greater Fort Lauderdale has captured the national spotlight.

The latest jobs data clearly showed the strength of the Broward County region with a 2.8% unemployment rate in April 2019. The jobless rate was 0.5 percentage points lower than the region’s year ago rate of 3.3%. Non-agricultural employment increased by 16,400 jobs (+1.9%) over the year, with an employment of 867,000 in the Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach MSA (Broward County).

The Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach Metro Division had the highest annual job growth compared to all the metro areas in the state in other services (+2,200 jobs) in April 2019.

The industries gaining in jobs over the year were: Professional and Business services (+5,400 jobs); Education and Health Services (+5,200 jobs); ; Financial Activities (+1,300 jobs); Construction (+1,200 jobs); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+800 jobs); Manufacturing (+600 jobs); and Leisure and Hospitality (+300 jobs). The industry that lost jobs over the year was Government (-600 jobs).  The information industry was unchanged over the year.

GlobeSt.com recently turned to Bob Swindell, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, to discuss the factors that have been driving job growth in the region and Broward County’s rapid transformation from beach town to boomtown.

GlobeSt.com: What does the launch of Brightline (now Virgin Trains) mean for Greater Fort Lauderdale and how has it impacted real estate development?

Swindell: There’s no question that Virgin Trains is a game-changer for our region. The high-speed real has unlocked Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach by connecting a combined population of more than 6 million, giving the 200+ Broward-based corporate headquarters access to a deeper talent pool than ever before.

Late last year, the Alliance conducted an analysis of the activity that has occurred along Brightline’s route since the train was announced and found that millions in corporate investment have already been made within a one-mile radius of the Fort Lauderdale station. Much more is on the way now that the Fort Lauderdale City Commission and the Broward County Commission recently voted to move forward with the development of a joint governmental campus, co-locating city and county Halls in one facility. The new government building will be located across the tracks from the train terminal on a site currently occupied by the Main Bus Terminal on Broward Boulevard.

The marquee project in the area is Traina and BH3’s FAT City (Flagler Arts and Technology) which is estimated to encompass 1.4 million square feet of mixed-use space that will foster Broward’s growing urban community of artists, technology businesses and young professionals.

This new level of mobility and the development it has spawned has been a major selling point in retaining and attracting the skilled, high-paying jobs that are propelling our economy forward.

GlobeSt.com: What other new projects are rising in the area?

Swindell: The bulk of new development in the region is taking shape in downtown Fort Lauderdale where the population has grown by 30% as new apartments and condos rise.  There’s PMG Group’s redevelopment of Las Olas Riverfront, a mixed-use project that will consist of “social living” rental communities that combine residences with coworking space as well as a public plaza featuring restaurants and nightlife. Also set for completion by end of 2019 is Skanska’s $49.3-million renovation and revitalization of Las Olas Boulevard. Once complete, Fort Lauderdale’s most popular thoroughfare will have a brand new 670-space parking lot, a beachfront park, a new canopy, public spaces and interactive water features that will enhance the pedestrian experience. Stiles Corporation’s The Main Las Olas, a 25-story office building and 27-story residential tower, will span an entire city block bordering East Las Olas Boulevard and Southeast Third Avenue.

More growth is on the way, with approximately 6.2 million square feet of multifamily, office, retail and hotel construction either under development or in the pipeline within Broward’s urban core.

GlobeSt.com: What does the exposure from globally recognized names like Richard Branson and David Beckham mean for the Broward brand?

Swindell: Richard Branson turned heads when he launched the first-ever adults-only cruise line from a Plantation-based headquarters in early 2018 and then doubled down on the region by investing heavily in Brightline, which is being rebranded to Virgin Trains. Soccer legend David Beckham put Broward back on the soccer map when he joined forces with the City of Fort Lauderdale to transform Lockhart Stadium into an 18,000 seat, state-of-art arena for his MLS team.

And let’s not forget about the wave of positive publicity generated from South Florida being shortlisted for Amazon’s HQ2. These are all indicators of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s status as a thriving business and lifestyle destination finally being recognized on the international stage.

GlobeSt.com: How are advancements in infrastructure driving new talent to Greater Fort Lauderdale and supporting job growth?

Swindell: As an economic development organization, we look at the big picture. Recent innovations and investment in infrastructure have been a major step forward in creating the type of walkable, mixed-use environments that put our region on a path for long-term growth and success.

This urbanization of Broward County is helping us attract the type of young, skilled talent that draws the attention of global brands and moves the needle where it matters most: jobs. The Greater Fort Lauderdale area added more than 14,000 jobs year-over year in 2018 and continues to be a leader in the state in terms of job creation. With Broward County projected to gain 900,00 new residents by 2030, the region isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

 

Source: GlobeSt.

In the late 1950s the Port of Palm Beach conducted more trade with Cuba than any other port in the world.

Starting in 1946, the West India Fruit and Steamship Co. transported everything from cars to fertilizer, household goods and food to Cuba from the Riviera Beach-based port, and Cuba sent commodities such as sugar, tomatoes, pineapple, and of course, rum, back on the ships.

The company began the Havana Car Ferry service in 1947. It offered a quick, reliable carload freight service between the port and Cuba, according to “Gateway,” a magazine the port used to publish. The trade ended in August 1961 when the U.S. imposed an embargo on all shipments to Cuba after Fidel Castro took control. Trade with Cuba made up half the port’s business, and when the trade ended, the port almost died. It had to borrow money to make payroll to pay its three employees.

On Friday morning, an important step toward once again ramping up trade with the island nation is scheduled to take place. A delegation from the National Port of Administration of Cuba and Port of Palm Beach officials will meet to sign a memorandum of understanding in the port’s boardroom.

The agreement outlines joint initiatives the two parties will undertake, stating that it is “within their mutual interest to establish an alliance of cooperation aimed at facilitating international trade and generating new business by promoting the all-water route between Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Gulf Coast of the United States through the Port of Palm Beach and the Ports of Cuba.”

Port of Palm Beach executive director Manuel “Manny” Almira, who was born in Cuba, said he has relentlessly pursued the project for the last six years. He has worked with the previous Cuban Ambassador Jorge Alberto Bolaños Suarez and now is working closely with Ambassador José Ramón Cabañas Rodríguez and Rubén Ramos Arrieta, minister counselor at the Economic & Trade Office, Cuban Embassy, who have requested that the Cuban government approve the agreement.

From what Almira has been told, only two other ports in Florida, Port Everglades in Broward County and Port of Tampa, have been selected to sign the agreement. Almira said he believes the accord is one of the many steps that would pave the way for a service or services to be established from the Port of Palm Beach to Cuba.

The Cuban delegation plans to make a presentation about the island nation’s Port Mariel special development zone, inland waterway, seaport capabilities and the foreign trade investment to local business people at the port and throughout Palm Beach County.

During its visit to Palm Beach County that starts on Thursday, the delegation will attend a Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce breakfast, have lunch on the Grand Celebration cruise ship based at the port, make a presentation to the Palm Beach County Commission and attend at event at CityPlace in West Palm Beach. The group will depart for Washington, D.C. on Saturday.

Port Mariel, on Cuba’s northwest coast, is one of three container ports, along with the ones from Santiago and Havana, but Mariel’s is the largest. Mariel opened its container terminal in 2014, and two-thirds of the $900 million project was financed by Brazil.

Mariel is planning its transformation into a major transshipment hub, and becoming the first port of call for “neo-Panamax,” the newer, larger container ships going through the Panama Canal to the U.S. according to published reports.

Some of the joint initiatives planned include marketing, market studies, modernization and improvements and training. Many other things have to occur before trade can begin. Any and all shipping lines expecting to establish service to Cuba must first meet and obtain the license from the Office of Foreign Asset Control, Department of U.S. Treasury.

“Once that license is obtained, then the company will need a license to operate in Cuba. One of the benefits of having an agreement is so that the port can direct businesses to the appropriate transportation ministers in Cuba,” Almira said.