The worldwide shift to larger vessels is throwing up a challenge and a comprehensive response at the port of Jacksonville (Jaxport) in Florida, USA. Dredgers are now in the second phase of a major project that will take the federal navigation channel that services the port from 12.1 m to 14.3 m in depth, and widen portions of the channel and adjacent basins.
According to Jaxport, the greater depth “will position the port as the first US east coast port of call for fully loaded new-Panamax class vessels”. The harbour is located along the St Johns River and consists of three cargo facilities, a cruise terminal, and two terminals for intermodal rail.
The largest facility is the Blount Island Marine Terminal, which handles automobiles, bulk, containers, ro-ro, and heavy-lift cargoes. The US Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, is administering the campaign in cooperation with the Jacksonville Port Authority and the current contractor is Great Lakes Dredge and Dock (GLDD).
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