Urban Fold

Expansion on the Panama: A Boon for East Coast Ports?

In spite of doubts about economic viability, port cities on the Atlantic scramble to make room for mega cargo ships, Curtis Tate reports.

Cities across the East Coast are racing to prepare for an expansion of the Panama Canal, which officials hope will divert transcontinental shipping from the pavement to the sea. Slated for completion in 2014, the expansion will make way for cargo ships that can carry two to three times as many containers as the biggest ships currently on the route.

"I don't know too many ports that have gambled on shallow water that have stayed in the game," said Kevin Lynskey, the assistant director for seaport business initiatives at the Port of Miami. "If we didn't dredge and other people did, we certainly would lose more containers."

Ports on the southern end of the Eastern Seaboard, like those in Charleston, Savannah, and Miami, aren't currently deep enough to handle the new traffic, and worry that they might soon get passed over for larger ports up north. But with an already extensive, well-established rail network connecting the east and west coasts, those on the Pacific doubt the economic benefit of shifting gears.

"Why not just unload all of it here?" asked Art Wong, a spokesman for the Port of Long Beach. "We hope to maintain those kinds of advantages."

But the Southern port cities aren't waiting. State authorities in Flordia, Georgia, and South Carolina are proposing hundreds of millions of dollars in port expansions, drawing on state coffers if their pleas for federal funds fall on deaf ears.

Full Story: As states seek funds for deeper ports, will ships come in?


Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."