(CNN) — The United States Central Command has released images of a floating pier being built by the US military off the coast of Gaza, which once complete is intended to help deliver much needed humanitarian aid to the devastated strip’s starving population.

Construction of the temporary pier began at sea last week and the images show crew from several military vessels building the platform. Separately, a satellite image from Planet Labs shows the pier under construction.

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said Monday the pier will cost the US about $320 million.

That estimate includes all costs associated with the initial construction of the system, known as Joint Logistics Over the Shore, or JLOTS. The cost of operating the pier will likely grow over the next several months.

A senior military official said last week the US is “on track to begin delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza from the sea in early May,” which will begin at the equivalent of 90 trucks per day of aid and then “quickly scale up” to 150 trucks per day once full operational capacity is reached.

The official said the US military is prepared to execute the mission “for several months,” but emphasized there will be no US boots on the ground in Gaza — something President Joe Biden ruled out when he announced plans for the pier in March.

Instead, the Israel Defense Forces will partner with the US military to anchor the causeway to the shore in Gaza “on day one,” the military official said.

US officials previously told CNN the US military is likely to operate the pier for at least the next three months, but the ultimate goal is to turn it into a full-time commercial operation that can be used by other countries and non-governmental organizations.

Meanwhile, the British Navy support ship RFA Cardigan Bay was sailing from Cyprus to support efforts to build the temporary pier, according to a statement from the Royal Navy on Saturday.

The British ship will provide “accommodation for hundreds of US sailors and soldiers working to establish the pier,” the navy said.

Once established, the World Food Programme (WFP) will support distribution of aid from the pier, the organization said Saturday and USAID will work with the United Nations to distribute the aid once it reaches Gaza.

CNN previously reported that aid will flow from Cyprus via commercial vessels, which will travel about 200 miles to the floating pier anchored miles off the Gaza coast. That aid will then be moved onto smaller Army boats, which can hold about 15 trucks of aid each, that will shuttle to the causeway anchored to the shore.

The pier’s construction comes as the humanitarian situation in Gaza deteriorates and the death toll from Israel’s bombardment climbs.

All 2.2 million people in Gaza do not have enough food to eat, with half of the population on the brink of starvation and famine imminent, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).

Concerns are also heightened over an anticipated Israeli military operation in southern Gaza’s Rafah, prompting renewed calls for a ceasefire to ensure uninterrupted aid flow.

Israel’s allies, including the US, have warned against the operation due to the potential for large-scale civilian casualties. It comes as 22 people, including at least one infant and a toddler, were killed in an Israeli airstrike over Rafah, overnight into Monday, according to hospital officials.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday there has been “measurable progress” in getting aid to Gaza but it is “not enough” to address the humanitarian crisis.

Human rights agencies have repeatedly warned that Israel’s severe restrictions on aid deliveries means relief is barely trickling into the strip. Before the war, about 500 trucks of supplies entered the Palestinian enclave daily.

Negotiations on a ceasefire and hostage exchange are ongoing, with Hamas considering a new framework proposed by Egypt that calls for the group to release as many as 33 hostages kidnapped from Israel in exchange for a pause in hostilities in Gaza, an Israeli source familiar with the negotiations and a foreign diplomatic source told CNN.

Israel is awaiting a response from Hamas, which was expected to meet Egyptian and Qatari mediators in Cairo on Monday, the sources said. A working-level Israeli delegation of intelligence agencies and military officials is expected to travel to Cairo on Tuesday, the Israeli source and another Israeli official said.

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