For every $1 invested in deepening, $24 will be returned to the economy, Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) said in their latest announcement named ‘Harbor Deepening Facts’.
According to the official statement, JAXPORT currently supports more than 130,000 jobs throughout the region and creates $26 billion in economic impact every year, with local jobs associated with JAXPORT’s Asian business grew more than 57 percent in a five-year period.
JAXPORT has also grown Asian container volumes nearly 100 percent since 2012.
These jobs and this business will leave Jacksonville unless the harbor is deepened to accommodate more cargo aboard today’s bigger ships, said the authority.
- When did harbor deepening start and when will it be completed?
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and dredging contractor Dutra began construction of the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project in February 2018. The project should be completed in 5-6 years and will take the depth of the federal channel to 47 feet.
- What part of the St. Johns River will be deepened?
Congress authorized a 13-mile deepening project, which JAXPORT has always supported. The U.S. Army Corps divided the project into four sections beginning near the mouth of the river. Currently, JAXPORT is focused on funding the first three segments to Blount Island in order to start receiving increased cargo aboard today’s larger ships as soon as possible.
- Will the deepening include the Dames Point Marine Terminal?
The fully authorized Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project includes the Dames Point Marine Terminal.
- Will there be any new or expanded turning basins, and will the channel still accommodate 2-way traffic throughout its length?
Yes, new turning basins will be added and there will be full 2-way traffic with further widening at strategic locations. The project consists of deepening the existing 40-foot channel to 47 feet; widening at Mile Point, the Training Wall Reach and St. Johns Bluff Reach plus construction of two new turning basins at Blount Island and Brills Cut.
- How much will the project cost and who will pay for it?
The estimated cost of the initial three segments is $484 million. Final project costs will depend on contracts awarded for each of the segments.
The Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project is being funded through federal, state and JAXPORT investments, plus contributions from specific private tenants and potentially from the City of Jacksonville.