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Funds For JAXPORT Deepening To Be Included In Federal Water Bill

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The funding for two projects designed to improve operations at JAXPORT, including dredging the St. Johns River's shipping channel to accommodate larger ships, will likely be approved by Congress.The U.S. House and Senate committee charged with reconciling their differences on the latest version of the federal Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) published a final version of the bill with funding for several projects in Florida.

They include $37.16 million for JAXPORT's Mile Point project to reduce the ebb tide crosscurrents at the confluence of the St. Johns River and the Intracoastal Waterway (IWW), and $600.9 million deepening Jacksonville Harbor.

Florida's senior U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said the projects will set the city on the map as a major seaport.

"JAXPORT is now going to be able to handle the big ships coming from Asia from the expanded Panama Canal," Nelson said in a statement.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the dredging plan in April, paving the way for it's inclusion in the WRDA.

The project will deepen the channel along the St. Johns River from 40 to 47 feet, allowing larger ships into Jacksonville Harbor. It has been championed by Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and by many legislators from the Northeast Florida area.

You can follow Patrick Donges on Twitter @patrickhdonges.