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FEC’s new rail facility at Port Everglades begins to take shape as construction moves forward
Port Everglades that will be used to transfer domestic and international shipping containers between ship and rail beginning in mid -2014. This near-dock facility, located on port property, will replace FEC’s existing 12-acre intermodal yard which is currently located 2 miles from the port on Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.
“The Port Everglades ICTF allows us to build 9,000 foot unit trains within the facility without blocking any streets. The trains will then go to places such as Atlanta and Charlotte in two days, or Nashville and Memphis in three days. FEC’s connections to CSX NS allow for rail service to 70 percent of the U.S. population within four days. This is big benefit to customers that ship cargo into and out of Port Everglades,” said FEC President Jim Hertwig.
FEC’s new ICTF at Port Everglades adds increased capacity, efficiency and value to every party involved in the supply chain by providing transit times that match or are less than those of trucking or offloading at other ports at competitive costs, with reliability, and reduced air emissions.
“Our natural trade routes are North-South, where we are seeing tremendous growth in South America and Central America. With the expansion of the Panama Canal, Port Everglades will have the potential to see the North-South trade lanes intersect with the East-West trade routes. So there is great expectation for additional growth in our business which will be facilitated by the ICTF,” said Port Everglades Chief Executive & Port Director Steven Cernak.
This state-of-the-art facility include a marshaling area, rubber tire gantry cranes, and separate entrance gates to handle domestic and international containers simultaneously. New rail tracks will expand from two entrance tracks into six working tracks totaling approximately 18,000 linear feet to service trains up to 9,000 feet long.
Once completed, the ICTF is expected to reduce congestion on interstate highways and local roadways because loading and offloading cargo will take place within the port as opposed to offsite facilities. As a result, air emissions will be reduced by diverting an estimated 180,000 trucks from the roads by the year 2029.
Port Everglades contributed the land for the ICTF valued at $19 million. Construction costs are estimated to total $53 million, which will be paid through $18 million in grants from the HYPERLINK “http://www.dot.state.fl.us/”Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Strategic Intermodal System program, a $30 million FDOT State Infrastructure Bank loan, and $5 million from FEC’s capital plan.
The first step towards building the ICTF was taken in July 2011 when FDOT broke ground for the Eller Drive Overpass, which will elevate I-595/Eller Drive to allow the trains to access the Port at ground level. The overpass is expected to be completed by late-2014 at a cost of $42.5 million.
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