• Sen. Rick Scott pushes for $140M in funding for ports

    By: Brittney Donovan , Action News Jax


    Good-paying jobs for men and women -- that's one reason why Sen. Rick Scott says he’s pushing for millions of dollars in funding for Florida ports.

    “There are a lot of jobs around our airports for tourism and our ports especially for trade and if we do those things we're going to continue to grow our economy,” he said in Jacksonville Monday.

    He's proposed $140 million in his budget for infrastructure and security upgrades.

    The first order of business at JAXPORT – finishing the harbor deepening project.

    JAXPORT’s CEO Eric Green says the project has created 3,500 jobs as workers deepen the harbor to 47 feet, a move that will allow larger ships to port in Jacksonville.

    STORY: Jaxport signs $238.7 million international container terminal deal with SSA Marine

    He says it will make Jacksonville more competitive in international shipping -- and growth at the port after deepening is expected to result in 13,000 new jobs.

    At Monday’s press conference with Sen. Scott, Green said the private partnership with SSA Marine announced March 4 is unique.

    SSA Marine has partnered with JAXPORT on a $238 million expansion at its Blount Island terminal as part of the deepening project.

    “It allowed us to really take advantage of the private sector and their investment in the dredge project. I don’t know of any other dredge project in the entire country with a private investment and we have done that,” Green said.

    STORY: Jaxport CEO: Habor deepening on track to finish two years ahead of schedule

    The dredging is expected to be complete in 2023, two years ahead of schedule.

    State representatives believe it's only the beginning of growth at the port.

    “I really believe working together with the city and a bicameral way at the federal level we’re actually going to be able to make JAXPORT and Northeast Florida a logistics hub for the southern seaboard,” Rep. John Rutherford said.


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