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The Jacksonville Port Authority is the recipient of a $20 million grant for infrastructure improvements to include reconstructing about 100 acres of pavement at the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal on Blount Island to allow the port to better accommodate large container vessels.
Other improvements to the terminal include storm drainage, enhanced lighting, signage and utilities, JaxPort said.
The project is expected to create an additional 15,000 jobs, according to U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, former Jacksonville sheriff and a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development that funds transportation infrastructure projects.
JaxPort said the funding is part of a $238 million plan to expand and upgrade the facility, with more than half coming from private partner SSA Marine.
The latest funds were awarded through a U.S. Department of Transportation initiative to invest in port and other transportation projects to achieve national objectives.
“The award of this highly competitive grant speaks volumes about the significance of this project to the economy of our region and country,” JaxPort CEO Eric Green said. “We are grateful to Secretary Elaine Chao and our state and federal elected officials who continue to advocate for our growth — further positioning Northeast Florida to take full advantage of the economic opportunities our thriving seaport creates.”
Mayor Lenny Curry also said it shows the port’s future is strong.
“As we continue to expand the capabilities of our port, jobs and economic growth will follow,” Curry said.
The SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal is a public-private partnership between JaxPort and SSA Marine.
Port officials said SSA Marine is contributing up to about $130 million for the use of the terminal and facility upgrades, including the addition of three 100-gauge container cranes. In addition, $109 million in berth rehabilitation and upgrades are being done that will allow the terminal to simultaneously accommodate two post-Panamax vessels.
The federal project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 feet also is scheduled to be complete in 2023.
A recent economic impact study found that cargo activity at Jacksonville’s seaport generates about 26,000 jobs in Northeast Florida and supports nearly $31.1 billion in annual economic output for the region and state.
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