By Alfonso Chardy
Florida Gov. Rick Scott visited PortMiami Friday to see first-hand the specially outfitted vessel that is currently dredging the channel entrance to the port, a project made possible when Scott provided millions in state money for the endeavor.
A month after Scott withdrew Florida’s participation in the bullet train project in early 2011, he directed the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to amend its work plan to include $77 million so PortMiami could deepen its cargo harbor to receive the giant container ships that will cross the Panama Canal once its expansion is completed in 2015.
Later the state contribution grew to $112.5 to fund the $220 million dredging project, The county port’s contribution totals $108 million.
The dredging of the port’s shipping from 42 to 50 to 52 feet will enable the mega container vessels to dock at PortMiami and unload cargo containers. PortMiami is the only Florida port currently undergoing dredging to 50 feet, which is the required depth to accommodate the giant container ships.