USA: Officials Approve USD 150 M in Seaport Improvements
Governor Rick Scott and members of the Florida Cabinet approved $150 million in bond proceeds which will finance projects at Florida ports through the Seaport Investment Program. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has programmed $150 million in projects to receive bond proceeds for FY 2014 which will be issued by the Division of Bond Finance.
Governor Rick Scott said, “This $150 million investment in Florida ports will strengthen Florida’s role as a hub for global commerce. Florida’s ports support international trade and domestic manufacturing, and create jobs for Florida families. With this investment, we will continue to position Florida as a leader in global trade and commerce.”
Working directly with Florida seaports, FDOT has identified a total of 16 projects to be funded under bond proceeds. During the 2012 Legislative Session, the legislature passed and the Governor signed SB 1998, directing another $10 million annually from the State Transportation Trust Fund (beginning July 1, 2013 and for 30 years thereafter) to secure bonds issued to finance projects at Florida ports through the Seaport Investment Program. All identified projects have been approved by Governor Rick Scott and the 2013 Legislature through the budget approval process.
FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad said, “I applaud Governor Scott and the members of the Florida Cabinet for their commitment to invest in our ports. This funding will ensure needed port improvement projects will be completed.”
Florida Ports Council President Doug Wheeler said, “Thanks to Florida’s investment in seaport infrastructure; we are positioning our state as an aggressive competitor in the global marketplace. Florida’s seaports look forward to continuing to work with all of our partners in our efforts to expand Florida’s role as a global gateway and support jobs for Florida families.”
Some of the projects approved to be funded include:
– Southport Turning Notch Extension;
– Bond Funding: $34.5 million;
– This project will lengthen the existing Southport Turning Notch from 900’ to 2,400’ at the existing depth of 42’. This project will provide for a minimum of five additional berths.
– South Fisherman’s Channel Dredge III;
– Bond Funding: $25 million;
– This project includes the final phase of the Deep Dredge project. This project will include work necessary to dredge the cargo channels and berths; including deepening the entrance channel to a depth of -52’ and deepening and widening the South Ship (Fisherman’s) Channel, the Turning Basins and the berths to -50’.
– Berth Rehab & Reconstruction Project;
– Bond Funding: $6.4 million;
– This project will rehabilitate portions of all Berths 6-11.
– Blount Island Terminal Improvements;
– Bond Funding: $14.8 million;
– This project includes the phased development/re-development of container, break-bulk, automobile, and bulk terminal facilities, as well as wharf rehabilitation and paving, tenant building improvements, rail improvements, and drainage upgrades and repairs.
Port Panama City
– Container Terminal Expansion;
– Bond Funding: $2.2 million;
– The project includes removing a molasses tank from container yard area, adding heavy pavement, expanding the Port’s interchange gate to accommodate higher volumes, adding additional support plugs for refrigerated containers, adding a second mobile harbor crane capable of handling Panamax vessels, and adding additional container handling equipment in the container yard.
Press Release, September 25, 2013