USA: JAXPORT, Corps Ink Agreement for Mile Point Project
Another significant step for the Mile Point project was achieved as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) signed the Project Design Agreement on May 23 during a ceremony at JAXPORT’s Talleyrand Marine Terminal. The joint signing of this agreement will allow the design of the project to move forward.
“This is another tremendous step forward for Mile Point as we move into the design phase of the project,” said Jerry Scarborough, chief of the Water Resources Branch. “This project is of critical importance to those who navigate the St. Johns River and will provide a much needed solution for the maritime industry as well as the surrounding community. We value our partnership with JAXPORT and the City of Jacksonville and we are committed to working closely with them to implement the next phase of this project.”
“Everyone who cares about the economic vitality and quality of life in this region will join us in this celebration today,” said JAXPORT CEO Paul Anderson. “As we continue to move the Mile Point project forward through our partnership with the Corps and our dedicated members of Congress, I am confident our message and momentum will allow us to also take the next steps to further maximize the positive impact of our port by improving the harbor’s depth, allowing the bigger ships to bring opportunity and jobs to Jacksonville.”
Mile Point consists of 5,000 feet of shoreline located along the north shore of the St. Johns River and east of the Intracoastal Waterway (IWW). Great Marsh Island and the Mile Point Training Wall divide Chicopit Bay. The confluence of the St. Johns River with the IWW is known as Mile Point, an area that experiences difficult crosscurrents on the ebb tide. Due to these crosscurrents there is navigational restriction on the ebb tide that affects all vessels that have a transit draft greater than 33 feet inbound and 36 feet outbound, inhibiting the free movement of vessel traffic.
The recommended plan combines relocation/reconfiguration of the existing training wall, restoration of Great Marsh Island, and the creation of a flow improvement channel in Chicopit Bay. The estimated total cost for the Recommended Plan is $36.5 million, which is cost shared 65% Federal and 35% non-Federal.
Dredging Today Staff, May 24, 2012; Image: jaxport