Florida Seaports to Get $1B Over Next Eight Years

According to a proposed budget filed by Governor Rick Scott last month, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will receive $9.9 billion in funding this year for strategic transportation projects.

Doreen DiPolito—owner and president of D-Mar General Contracting and Development in Tampa Bay, Florida—applauded the move, citing its significance in supporting and creating construction jobs throughout the state. As the owner of a certified Women’s Business Enterprise, DiPolito is committed to raising awareness of the career opportunities for women in construction.

Florida’s proposed 2015 budget appropriates $109.6 million for seaport infrastructure enhancements as the state prepares to welcome massive new container ships following the expansion of the Panama Canal.

While PortMiami is nearing completion of its deep dredge to accommodate the new class of megaships, other Florida seaports—including Port Everglades and the Port of Jacksonville —are pursuing their own dredging projects.

Additional seaport construction projects include extending berth capacity, expanding container storage space, erecting new cargo cranes, and building terminals, transfer facilities and logistics centers. These projects are creating thousands of construction jobs at Florida’s 15 deepwater ports. In Port Canaveral alone, current and planned projects will require more than 4,500 construction professionals.

Governor Scott recently pledged to invest a total of $1 billion in Florida seaports over his eight-year term. His policy cites Florida Ports Council data, which shows that the state’s seaports generate more than 680,000 jobs and $96 billion in total economic value, and contribute $6.90 in economic activity for every $1 invested.