USD93 million awarded to JAXPORT for harbour deepening

ZIM Tianjin at JAXPORT's Blount Island Marine Terminal. Credit: JAXPORT

The US Federal Government granted additional funding of USD93 million for the next phase of the Jacksonville, Florida, shipping channel deepening.

The funding is the final amount of the allocated government’s portion for JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal.

The channel will be dredged to 14 m from the current 12 m depth. Upon completion, the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at Blount Island will feature a vessel turning basin and will simultaneously accommodate two post-Panamax vessels.

The project is divided into four segments, contracts A-D, which make up the full length of the 13-mile federally authorised project.

The current funding model covers the project’s first 11 miles through Blount Island within contracts A, B and C. Harbour deepening began in February 2018. Contractors for the US Army Corps of Engineers are scheduled to complete the first 5.5 miles in spring 2020, marking the halfway point for this portion of the project.

It is anticipated to be completed in 2023, two years ahead of its original schedule, based on continued funding from all partners.

To date, the Federal Government, the state of Florida, JAXPORT, and port tenant SSA Jacksonville have contributed or pledged a combined total of more than USD394 million dollars toward the cost of the USD484 million deepening project.