Construction is moving swiftly as Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) moves forward on a $53 million, 42.5-acre intermodal container transfer facility (ICTF) at 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 two 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, Ga., and Charlotte, N.C., in two days, or Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., in three days. FEC’s connections to CSX and Norfolk Southern 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.
This facility includes 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 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.