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Port Canaveral gets approval to widen channel


Port Canaveral, Florida received approval from a federal panel to widen and deepen the channel.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Review Board gave unanimous approval of the port's feasibility study and that the project may continue to seek approval from other state and federal agencies.

The project need the approval of the Corps of Engineers to receive federal assistance for future maintenance of the channel.

The proposed project would widen Port Canaveral's 400-foot-wide channel by 100 feet and deepen it by 2 feet along its 3.5-mile length.  Work is expected to begin in July and be completed by the fall of 2014.  The widening and deepening of the channel would allow Port Canaveral to accommodate larger cruise and cargo ships.

Tom Weinberg, Canaveral Port Authority Chairman, said the decision by the review board, “is a huge deal. This is a significant milestone to have this level of approval so quickly.”

Port Canaveral estimates that, if its cargo and cruise business increases as projected, this project and related developments at the port could generate nearly 3,500 permanent jobs for Brevard County. It also will mean an estimated 3,413 temporary construction jobs.