Broward county’s outstanding achievement of the past ten years and the program contributing more than any other to a balanced economic existence is Port Everglades. The port has created a heretofore non-existent commercial life in the community and provides a nucleus around which a substantial industrial phase is being built. It has created year-round payrolls, increased population, decreased transportation costs and made possible and practical investment in new wholesale and retail mercantile businesses. It has done much to focus the eyes and attention of national finance and both domestic and foreign commerce on southeast Florida, all of which is conducive to a future rapid and substantial growth and prosperity for the communities adjacent to the port.

Port Everglades is only seven years old. Construction began in 1926 and the harbor was completed in late 1931. Both the construction and early exploitation phases of the harbor took place during the national depression. The harbor cost taxpayers of the Port District approximately $5,000.000.

Port Everglades

Port Everglades is governed by a Port Authority, composed of three county commissioner districts comprising the Port District. Port Authority members are nominated in their respective districts, but elected by popular vote of all qualified voters in the entire Port District.

The Broward county Port District was formed by special enactment by the 1927 Florida State Legislature. The Special act of that year, since substantially amended and modified, created the Port Authority and enunciated its powers, privileges and responsibilities. Within the district is an area approximately two-thirds of that of Broward county and more than three-fourths of its population, including the cities, towns and communities of Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Dania, Hallandale, David, and a small portion of Oakland Park.

The Port Authority has wide and comprehensive powers. It is truly the governing body of Port Everglades and affairs of the Port District as they are related to the administration, operation and maintenance of the port. It appoints all port employees and others doing business at the port which, in its ramifications use public port facilities. It executes leases, enters into contracts, zones and polices the harbor and otherwise controls and administers port affairs. It operates the Port Everglades railroad, a six-mile line connecting shipside with the Florida East Coast and Seaboard Air Line railways. It holds a certificate of convenience and necessity from the Interstate Commerce Commission, under which it is empowered and required to move commodities in intra-state, interstate and foreign commerce. It is doubtful if any political sub-division in Florida is in more business or possessive of more powers that the Broward county Port Authority. The same time, probably no state sub-division is under more state and national regulation in its daily routine that the Port Authority. In the operation of the port proper, warehouses and railroads, it is subject in one way or the other to every major federal department, unless it be those of the state and interior departments.

Port Everglades’ progress as regards business growth has been more rapid than expected by its most enthusiastic and confident adherents. Its position today as one of Florida’s four major deep water ports is a rank unpredicted by anyone seven years ago. Its foreign commerce volume which will place it third in the state and possible second in value of commodities of foreign origin this year, is an enviable rank indeed for a seven-year-old harbor.

Port Everglades is Florida’s deepest and most easily accessible harbor. With a dredged depth of 35 feet at mean low tide and berthing points less than two miles from off shore shipping lanes, the port is most attractive from a navigating viewpoint. A short straight deep channel permits even large deep draft vessels to enter and sail without tug boat assistance and in remarkably short time. Marginal railway tracks make possible direct loading and unloading of cargo to or from cars. A large modern fire-proof warehouse affords vast storage facilities. The port’s location on the East Coast canal and U.S. Highway No. 1, is ideal for cargo concentration and distribution purposes.

The largest vessels ever to call at a Florida port have been here.

Federal Writers’ Project American Guide Series Miami, Florida [Anonymous]

Port Everglades Everglades News, Canal Point, April 2, 1939

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