“Scott: Miami port dredging means jobs”
Curt Anderson, Associated Press
Dec. 6, 2013
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On a postcard-perfect Friday, Gov. Rick Scott joined other officials for a boat tour of a $220 million dredging operation that will enable Miami’s cargo port to accommodate much bigger ships that soon will pass through a widened Panama Canal.
When completed in spring 2015, the ship channel will be deepened to more than 50 feet, making PortMiami the closest East Coast location to the vital trade canal that will be able to handle the post-Panamax vessels.
The operation will also widen the channel’s entrance just off South Beach from 500 feet to 800 feet.
Scott, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and other officials paid a visit by boat to the hopper dredge Terrapin Island, which acts as a giant vacuum to scoop up material from the port’s floor that will later be deposited out at sea. Under bright sunny skies with temperatures in the low 80s, Scott told reporters after the tour that the channel deepening and other PortMiami projects will eventually translate into 33,000 jobs across Florida because of expanded trade.
“It’s going to create a lot of jobs and make sure PortMiami is the port for the East Coast,” the Republican governor said.
“Miami is going to be big-ship ready,” Gimenez said.