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Port Everglades Harbor Navigation Improvement Project, Broward County, FL (27 February 2015)

Port EvegladesABSTRACT: The deep draft Port Everglades Harbor Federal navigation project is located on the southeast coast of Florida in Broward County.  It is located in the cities of Hollywood, Dania Beach and Fort Lauderdale and provides immediate access to the Atlantic Ocean.  The majority of terminals at Port Everglades are located in the Main Turning Basin and Southport Access Channel, which primarily include container, tanker, bulk, and cruise terminals.  Port Everglades is an Enterprise Fund of Broward County, which is the non-Federal sponsor.

The current authorized channel depth is 42 feet.  As a result of increased traffic and overall growth in vessel size, improvements including deepening and widening were considered to help alleviate vessel congestion and improve transit efficiency and maneuverability.  In addition, there are strong unpredictable crosscurrents in the Entrance Channel due to the proximity of the Gulf Stream and strong opposing nearshore currents.  Based on existing and projected future conditions, including the sizes of the projected fleets of tanker and container vessels, the Feasibility Study determined that the majority of benefiting vessels were transiting primarily to the Main Turning Basin and Southport Access Channel.  Ship simulation modeling was conducted to determine changes in the project footprint required for the larger vessels to maneuver in the channel.  The modeling was also used to identify navigation problems and measures required to improve navigation in the harbor.

Based on an evaluation of alternative plan economic costs and benefits, the National Economic Development (NED) plan was identified as 47 feet.  The NED plan is the plan that reasonably maximizes net benefits.  The 48-foot alternative did result in higher net benefits by approximately $400,000 but was only 1.3% greater benefits than at 47 feet.  Corps of Engineers regulation

ER 1105-2-100, Exhibit G-1, 3.c directs that “where two cost-effective plans produce no significantly different levels of net benefits, the less costly plan is to be the NED plan;” as such the 47-foot plan was determined to be the NED plan that reasonably maximizes net benefits.  The non-federal sponsor, Broward County, requested a Locally Preferred Plan (LPP) to provide an additional foot of deepening to 48 feet.  The LPP was approved by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works on October 16, 2014.  Included in the 48-foot LPP is deepening, widening, and extending  the Outer Entrance Channel, deepening the Inner Entrance Channel, and deepening and widening the Main Turning Basin, Southport Access Channel, and Turning Notch.  The recommendations for changes in the Federal channel footprint (widening and extension of the Outer Entrance Channel) are the same for both the NED and the LPP.  All dredging material will go to the new expanded Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site which is planned for approval by EPA this year (2015).

The recommended plan is the Locally Preferred Plan (LPP).  Based on October 2014 price levels, the estimated total project costs of the plan are $374,100,000 with $189,900,000 Federal share and $184,200,000 non-Federal share.  The non-Federal share includes $18,000,000 at 100% non-Federal for the cost of the LPP beyond the NED Plan.  Based on a 3.375-percent discount rate for FY15 and a 50-year period of analysis, the total equivalent average annual costs of the project are estimated to be $16,860,000.  The average annual equivalent benefits are estimated to be $48,240,000.  The average annual net benefits are $31,400,000.  The benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) is 2.9 for both the NED plan and the LPP.  It is estimated that this project will increase the annual O&M requirements by approximately 6,000 cubic yards and the annual O&M cost will increase by approximately $55,500.  The additional O&M cost is due to increases of the project footprint (i.e. areas of widening) required for the recommended plan. 

Mitigation is required for seagrasses, mangroves, and reef and hardbottoms affected by the deepening.  Mitigation of 2.4 seagrass functional units and one mangrove functional unit will be provided in a county-operated, state-owned, natural area immediately to the south of the project area.  Approximately 5 acres of artificial reef will be constructed with the transplantation of 11,502 corals from the impact site to the artificial reef and outplanting of approximately 103,000 nursery raised corals.  Additional mitigation will be provided due to any detectable, incidental, direct impacts of dredging equipment and indirect impacts on hardbottom habitats due to turbidity/sedimentation.  These mitigation components were determined to be economic “Best Buys” from among mitigation alternatives.  Aids to navigation will be provided at 100% Federal cost by the Coast Guard.  Absent sufficient Coast Guard funding, or adequate justification for the navigation aids, non-Federal interests may be required to provide them.

REPORT DOCUMENTATION:  Pertinent documentation on the project, the results of the Civil Works Review Board, and subsequent Washington-Level Review Actions, are listed below (items not linked will be provided when available):

  • CWRB Agenda
  • Project Map/Placemat
  • Project Summary
  • CWRB Briefing Slides
  • CWRB Lessons Learned
  • CWRB Meeting Record
  • State & Agency Review Comment Letters
  • Documentation of Review Findings
  • Signed Chief of Engineers Report
  • Advance Copy to Congressional Committees
  • ASA(CW) Memo to OMB
  • OMB Response
  • ASA(CW) Transmittal to Congress
  • Signed Record of Decision
  • Authorization