by Ana Figueroa
Last updated: 3:15 PM ET, Fri April 27, 2018
The largest construction project in the history of Port Canaveral is now underway. Demolition of the port's oldest cruise terminal has begun, making way for a new, state-of-the-art Terminal 3.
Port Canaveral hosts nearly five million revenue cruise passengers annually.
"This is a moment we have been waiting for. The new hi-tech, fully modernized cruise terminal will enhance our ability to welcome some of the largest and most advanced cruise ships in the world," said Captain John Murray, CEO of the port. "The cruise industry is projected to grow significantly over the next several years and with this new terminal, our port is well positioned to keep pace with that growth."
Construction of the new port will take place in stages over 20 months. Demolition is set for completion by July of this year. Next will come berth demolition, dredging and waterside construction; construction of passenger boarding bridges; terminal construction with related site work and the parking facility. The parking structure will accommodate 1,800 vehicles in secure, covered parking.
The total investment for the 188,000 square-foot terminal is approximately $150 million.
The new terminal, berth and parking facilities will accommodate up to 6,500 cruise guests. High-tech systems will facilitate US Customs and Border Protection screenings and allow for mobile passenger check-in.
"Port Canaveral continues to experience growth in all sectors, and particularly in our cruise business," said Murray. "It's important that we continuously invest in our capabilities and grow our capacity to ensure we support the needs of our cruise partners today and remain well positioned to meet their demands of tomorrow."
The target completion date for Terminal 3 is late 2019 or early 2020. The facility will support some 4,000 permanent jobs as part of the port's ongoing modernization and improvement plans.
Port modernization is on the upswing elsewhere in Florida, as well. Norwegian Cruise Line recently gained approval for a futuristic new cruise terminal in Miami.
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