For Full Story: Sunshine State News
Article By: Kevin Derby
On Monday, the federal government doubled down on its support of the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) as it announced that it was sending $32.4 million to the First Coast to continue its deep dredging efforts.
These latest funds are in addition to the $17.5 million sent by the federal government to JAXPORT last year. With Jacksonville looking to woo large container ships that will be hitting the Atlantic seaboard in the aftermath of the Panama Canal expansion, JAXPORT began efforts to deepen its facilities to 47 feet back in February. Congress passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act back in 2014 to help ports ready for the larger vessels.
“Deepening the harbor is essential to meet the needs of larger cargo ships transiting the Suez and Panama Canals as those vessels deliver cargo to JAXPORT terminals. A 47-foot depth for the federal channel will position JAXPORT as the first U.S. East Coast port of call for fully loaded New Panamax class vessels,” JAXPOT notes on its website. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) conducted a comprehensive, years-long economic, engineering and environmental study of the project. In June 2017, JAXPORT’s Board of Directors allocated the first phase of port funding to the USACE for construction and environmental monitoring.”