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FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – More than a dozen years in the works, a new railroad transfer station at Port Everglades is one step closer to reality.

On Tuesday, the Broward Commission approved a 30-year lease and operating agreement with the Florida East Coast Railway to develop an Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) at the port which will allow freight to move more efficiently between South Florida and the southeast United States via rail.

The facility will become operational at the beginning of 2014.

“This is a great public-private partnership that has been 15 years in the making and is expected to take less than two years to complete,” said Broward County Mayor John Rodstrom, Jr.

The ICTF at Port Everglades will be used to transfer international containers between ship and rail within the Port instead of having trucks haul the containers to and from off-port rail terminals, currently located off Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale and in central Miami-Dade County.

Last July work got underway on the new Eller Drive Overpass to allow for a train rail access to the Southport container yard, which is the main container holding area at the port. The overpass will allow cars and trucks unrestricted travel to and from the port’s cruise and container terminals.

The project also involves the widening, realignment, and construction of service roads parallel to the overpass. The overpass will be built in two stages with a completion date of February 2013.

Port Everglades is the 3rd largest cruise port in the world and the 11th largest container port in America.


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