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Front Page » Top Stories » Port Of Miami Due Major Upgrade To Meet Panama Canal Improvements

Port Of Miami Due Major Upgrade To Meet Panama Canal Improvements

Written by on November 4, 2010

By Ashley Hopkins
More than $53 million in special obligation bond receipts may soon be shipped over to Miami-Dade’s Port of Miami for a fleet of port-wide improvements, many tied to larger cargo ships expected in four years.

The county commission is to vote today (11/4) to OK the funding.

Of the $53 million, $18.2 million would be financed through Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds. The county has $40.3 million in those bonds, all of which must be issued by Dec. 31. More than $34.9 million are to be issued as regular, tax-exempt bonds.

About $17.8 million would go for channel dredging, according to county documents. Workers would lengthen the bulkhead and deepen the seaport, providing greater assess to ships. Design should be complete this month. Construction is expected to wrap up by 2014, coinciding with the expected influx of larger ships through an expanded Panama Canal.

Nearly $10.3 million would improve port-wide infrastructure, replacing and restoring mooring bollards, constructing a 20,000-square-foot cargo warehouse and renovating cruise terminals. The work is at different stages of development, all due to be done by 2015.

More than $367,000 would be used to design and install a new guide sign over the port’s Port Boulevard entrance, removing the existing Florida Department of Transportation guide sign and replacing it with an overhead structure.

Carter Hammer, county director of finance, said bonds would be priced Nov. 15 and 16 and issued to investors by the first week of December. While the county commission would need to approve any action, Mr. Carter said he doesn’t anticipate snags.

Funding for seaport projects is grouped in an $80 million agenda item, with the remainder going to Miami-Dade Transit.