Ft Lauderdale Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to be dredged
Good news for super yachts operating in the Florida Area, as plans to dredge the ICW have been announced.
Part of a long term plan and the result of a seven year application process, this large-scale dredging project is now going ahead as the Federal, State and local permits have been obtained by the Florida Inland Navigational District (FIND).
The new depth of 15ft will make it easier for larger yachts navigating the channel in Ft Lauderdale between the 17th St Causeway Bridge and an area just south of the Sunrise Blvd Bridge. The dredging plans form part of a larger upgrade plan by the new owners of the Bahia Mar Marina who have a 50 year lease on the marina.
Upgrades are aimed at being able to accommodate more superyachts and similar larger vessels. Several marinas are reported to be considering options to dredge their basins to take advantage of the deeper channel. One plan includes upgrading to 16 superyacht berths from the existing 6 and adding the necessary facilities these yachts would require.
These plans will no doubt benefit the superyacht industry in the area and possibly attract more exhibitors and visitors to future Ft Lauderdale International Boat Shows. The section of the ICW to be dredged connects all of the marinas in the show including the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, the Hall of Fame Marina, the Pier 66 Marina and The Sails Marina as well as the Las Olas Marina near the Ft. Lauderdale Hilton.
Contractors for the dredging have not yet been assigned, but the tender process is set to commence in November 2014, following the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat show, and will be completed over a period of two years at an estimated cost of $20million.