Published Oct. 16, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Development of Florida’s ports and international trade are critical keys to growing the Sunshine State’s economy and being a major player in global trade, particularly the expansion of the Panama Canal, says Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
|A containership is loaded at the Jacksonville Port. (Photo/JaxPort)|
“With this investment, we will continue to position Florida as a leader in global trade and commerce,” Scott said.
The money is the result of a decision involving Scott and the state Cabinet to approve $150 million in bonds to finance projects through the Seaport Investment Program. The Florida Department of Transportation has programmed the money in 16 projects for fiscal year 2014. Some of the money will be spent on preparing Florida’s ports to accommodate the larger ships expected to sail through the canal when renovations are completed sometime in 2015.
“This investment clearly sends the message once again: Florida’s leaders understand the value of building port infrastructure today, and the returns that will come in the form of jobs and economic opportunity,” said Brian Taylor, CEO of Jaxport in Jacksonville.
Paul Anderson, president and CEO of the Tampa Port Authority said, “Our ports and our citizens will all benefit in significant ways as our ports continue to build infrastructure, modernize and create jobs, partnerships and economic value that we badly need for our economic health, moving forward. The state is investing in legacy projects delivering generational impacts.”
Some of the projects approved to be funded include:
JAXPORT — $27.5 million
The amount includes $14.8 million for Blount Island Terminal improvement such as development and redevelopment of terminal facilities, wharf rehabilitation and paving, tenant building improvements, rail improvements, and drainage upgrades and repairs.
PORT EVERGLADES — $34.5 million
The money would be used for the Southport Turning Notch Extension to lengthen the existing Southport Turning Notch from 900 feet to 2,400 feet at the existing depth of 42 feet. This project will provide for a minimum of five additional berths
PORT MANATEE — $6.4 million
The Berth Rehab & Reconstruction Project includes the rehabilitation of portions of all Berths 6-11. Located near Sarasota, the port is on the eastern Gulf of Mexico at the entrance to Tampa Bay, the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the Panama Canal.
PORTMIAMI — $25 million
The South Fisherman’s Channel Dredge III project will include work necessary to dredge the cargo channels and berths; including deepening the entrance channel to a depth of 52 feet, and deepening and widening the South Ship (Fisherman’s) Channel, the Turning Basins and the berths to depths of 50 feet.
PORT PANAMA CITY — $2.2 million
The Container Terminal Expansion project includes removing a molasses tank from container yard area, adding heavy pavement, expanding the port’s interchange gate to accommodate higher volumes, adding additional support plugs for refrigerated containers, adding a second mobile harbor crane capable of handling Panamax vessels, and adding additional container handling equipment in the container yard.