The Jacksonville City Council has unanimously awarded the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) $75 million for the ongoing harbor deepening project.
As informed, the amount is comprised of a $35 million grant and a $40 million loan.
“It’s a historic win for our community and the 15,000 jobs that will be created or protected by the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project,” JAXPORT said.
The project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel to a maximum depth of 50 feet from its current depth of 40 feet is anticipated to be completed in 2023. Upon completion of the deepening project, the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at Blount Island will feature a vessel turning basin and have the ability to simultaneously accommodate two post-Panamax vessels.
It will allow larger container ships to call JAXPORT with more cargo on board, bringing more jobs and profit to the region.
Jacksonville’s maritime labor unions have advocated for a deeper harbor for more than a decade and describe the funding as “monumental for the hardworking men and women who work in and around JAXPORT’s terminals.”
“As Northeast Florida’s economic engine, JAXPORT will continue to play a vital role in the economic recovery of our region and state,” JAXPORT CEO Eric Green said.
“We are grateful for the support and leadership of Mayor Curry, the Jacksonville City Council, and our federal, state and private industry partners, as we work together to build a brighter future for our community through the jobs and opportunities a deeper harbor creates.”
Earlier this year, the US federal government also allocated USD 93 million for the next phase of deepening the Jacksonville shipping channel.