On Tuesday, the Broward County Commission approved a 30-year lease and operating agreement with Florida East Coast Railway L.L.C. (FEC) to develop an Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The facility is slated to become operational at the beginning of 2014.
The ICTF will be used to transfer international containers between ships and rail within the port instead of relying on trucks to haul containers to and from nearby off-port rail terminals in Fort Lauderdale and central Miami-Dade County. FEC plans to relocate its existing domestic intermodal operations from a nearby yard to the ICTF, which is expected to divert about 180,000 trucks from local highways by 2027.
In July 2011, work began on a new overpass to provide rail access to the Southport container yard, the port’s main container holding area. The project also includes widening, realigning and constructing service roads parallel to the overpass.
The ITCF “will bring long-term jobs, stimulate additional capital projects such as new warehouse and distribution facilities, and create new trading lanes to and from South America, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia,” said FEC President and Chief Executive Officer James Hertwig in a prepared statement. “The opening of the ICTF will be timed to take advantage of the expected growth in container volumes at Port Everglades.”
Meanwhile, the Broward County Commission also appointed Steven Cernak chief executive and director of Port Everglades to succeed Phillip Allen, who is retiring on Feb. 3 after leading the port since 2006.
Since 1999, Cernak has served as director and chief executive for the Port of Galveston, Texas. During his tenure, the port’s revenue doubled and the facility became the top cruise home port in the Gulf of Mexico, commission officials said in a prepared statement. Cernak previously was manager of port development for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and held various engineering positions with several private engineering consultants in New Jersey.
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