MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — In order to attract larger ships, dredging has begun to deepen the harbors around PortMiami.

Two channels approaching the port will be deepened from 44 feet to 52 feet. One also will be made wider.

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials say contractors will relocate coral, create artificial reefs and use some of the excavated material to create a site for sea grass beds.

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The project is expected to take two years to complete.

The dredging is among $2 billion in capital improvements currently underway at PortMiami.  Other on-going infrastructure projects include new cranes, the restoration of the bridge and rail line connecting the port to the mainland, and the completion of the Port Tunnel that will connect the port to other major highway arteries.

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