Aging Port of Palm Beach slip gets $26M renovation

The Port of Palm Beach District Commission approved a $26 million renovation of the port’s Slip Number 3, officials announced yesterday. The project, paid for by $20 million of Florida Department of Transportation money and $6 million of the port’s funds, will upgrade infrastructure built in the 1950s and not since renovated.

The remaining slips, Number 1 and Number 2, were renovated in 2000 and the mid-1980s, respectively. Construction on  is expected to begin next year and to be completed in 2014.

“It is imperative that we protect and improve Slip Number 3 to invest in the future success of the port and the district,” said Commission Chairman Wayne Richards in a statement.

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Last year, 1.3 million tons of cargo was shipped through Slip Number 3, mostly from fuel oil, diesel and cement on the north side and sugar and molasses on the south berth of the slip. The north side also offers the only dockside rail in South Florida.

The restoration project is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the area, officials said.

The port also applied for a federal grant that, if secured, would fund a marginal wharf that would allow for further expansion. — Adam Fusfeld