bill-johnson_web.jpgMIAMI — PortMiami and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have signed the construction agreement that will allow the Deep Dredge project to go out for bid. The Project Partnership Agreement was executed on Aug. 21.

Officials say the Deep Dredge will deepen the Port's existing channels to minus 50/52 feet to prepare for the Panama Canal expansion, now scheduled for completion in early 2015. PortMiami's deeper channel will provide ships with an economically efficient, reliable and safe navigational route into the Port.

“The project agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the final step prior to advertising for the construction contract,” said Bill Johnson, PortMiami director. “The agreement solidifies our partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that will manage the project.”

PortMiami is among America's busiest ports, with both cruise capital and cargo gateway of
the Americas recognition worldwide, while contributing more than $18 billion annually to the South Florida economy and helping provide employment for more than 180,000, officials say.
Johnson noted that PortMiami will be the only U.S. port south of Norfolk, Va., to be at the minus 50-foot depth in sync with the opening of the expanded canal.

Deep Dredge is expected to create more than 30,000 direct, indirect and related jobs in Florida and allow the port to meet its goal of doubling its cargo traffic over the next decade.

Johnson said the port is pleased with the project's progress.  “We are on schedule to complete the Deep Dredge at the same time the expanded Panama Canal opens.”

*Pictured above is Bill Johnson.