JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- President Obama is unveiling his vision for the economy and is using Jacksonville as his backdrop.
Jaxport has been a key component to economic growth for our city, and leaders hope this visit will help them move forward with their plans for growth.
Jaxport has so much potential to compete globally.
"There are ports up and down the East Coast waiting to take the cargo that we cannot handle," said Jaxport Spokeswoman Nancy Rubin.
Jaxport officials hope the president will see how important dredging is for our area.
"About a year ago the president really highlighted his understanding of what ports mean to this nation when he added two of our important port projects in Jacksonville to his 'We Can't Wait' initiative," said Rubin.
President Obama put the Mile Point Project and the deepening project on the fast track, with the completion of a study that looked at the pros and cons of dredging the St. Johns River. Rubin says those projects are designed to maximize the use of their public terminals.
"It will allow us to bring more cargo to create more employment, having to do directly with the cargo and indirectly with businesses that are supported by the movement of goods," she said.
The Mile Point project would cost $38 million, which is being paid with state and local funding. Rubin tells me the deepening project is projected to cost $700 million, but is still being studied. Both are an investment I'm told can support thousands of jobs.
Spurring job growth is a focus of President Obama's and the Jaxport Authority as well. Jaxport officials say the Mile Point project is closer to becoming a reality, but needs final approval from Congress.