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First Coast

JAXPORT finishes $100 million in improvements

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JAXPORT
JAXPORT has completed enhancements that provide 2,400 linear feet of rebuilt berthing.

The Jacksonville Port Authority has completed $100 million in berth improvements at Blount Island that allow the port to simultaneously handle two of the largest cargo ships.

The work provides the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal with 2,400 linear feet of rebuilt berthing on a channel now deepened to 47 feet, JAXPORT said in a news release Thursday.

The berth rehabilitation project began in 2016 with the installation of a high-voltage electrical system equipped to power up to 10 environmentally friendly container cranes in addition to three already in use and three on order by SSA Atlantic.

With the enhancements, JAXPORT can now accommodate two post-Panamax ships simultaneously, JAXPORT said. The berths also offer on-dock rail for cargo handling and feature heavy lift capabilities, including one of the nation’s highest weight-bearing capacity docks.

The project was funded 75% by the Florida Department of Transportation with a 25% JAXPORT match.

"This project significantly enhances our deepwater berthing capabilities at Blount Island, maximizing the efficiencies created by the deepening project," JAXPORT CEO Eric Green said in the release. "We are grateful for the continued support from the State of Florida as we work to build the port of the future and bring more cargo—and the jobs and economic impact it supports—to Jacksonville."

The federal project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel was completed through Blount Island in May. The project included the construction of a new vessel turning basin that allows larger vessels calling the SSA JCT to turn around at Blount Island.

JAXPORT is Florida’s largest container port and one of the nation’s top vehicle-handling ports. Jacksonville’s 47-foot deepwater shipping channel offers two-way river traffic and no berth congestion.

Nearly 100 million consumers live within a one-day truck drive with major interstates located within minutes of port terminals, JAXPORT says.