JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — More than half of Jacksonville’s power flows through several powerlines that stretch over the St. Johns River between Blount Island and Ft. Caroline.
Right now, JAXPORT and JEA are discussing raising the powerlines to make room for larger cargo ships heading into the port.
“In order to get the best to maximize the economic development for our community, the port needed to have more room underneath those lines. So, we’re gonna raise them from where they are now up to 225 feet to give plenty of clearance,” JEA CEO Jay Stowe said.
Stowe says this is a continuation of JAXPORT’s channel-deepening project which will meet the needs of larger cargo ships.
Now, the port is looking up, and wants to give more air draft to the vessels.
Stowe says the powerline project would cost $42 million.
“Right now it looks like the funding is going to come from the port, or they’re going to find the funding. So, it would not come from customers of JEA,” he explained.
JAXPORT wouldn’t say much about where it plans to get the money, but says it is “leading the funding effort”.
The port says raising the powerlines will boost the region’s economy and create more jobs by making JAXPORT more competitive with other ports on the East Coast.
“Being able to allow economic growth in our community supports all of the community, and it will help us all be better and stronger,” he said.
JAXPORT will meet with JEA and the US Army Corps of Engineers in the coming weeks about next steps.
JEA says the project would take years to complete. They plan on doing it in segments so no customers go without power.
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