Jacksonville’s port will be getting more improvements thanks to a $20 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant announced Wednesday.
JAXPORT will use the money to rebuild approximately 100 acres of the SSA Marine cargo terminal on Blount Island to allow the port to better accommodate the large container vessels that use the expanded Panama and Suez Canals to the U.S. East Coast.
The work will include repaving, improved stormwater management, and installation of new lighting, signage and other utilities.
The award is part of the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development rant program under the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to Jacksonville-area U.S. Congressman John Rutherford’s office.
“Today’s incredible news is just another installment of the sustained federal investment that Northeast Florida has experienced in recent years,” said Rutherford (R-FL4) in an email to WJCT News.
Rutherford’s office said the grant project is expected to create an additional 15,000 jobs.
Last month, the Florida Department of Transportation awarded JAXPORT an additional $35 million in funding for the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project. The state has so far contributed nearly $71.5 million toward the harbor dredging.
WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union reported in August that Martin Associates said the Jacksonville area had 26,282 port-dependent jobs in 2018, an 8% increase over the number of jobs connected to the port in 2013.
At JAXPORT’s annual State of the Port address in February, the port authority announced its customers moved 16% more containers than in January 2018, with nearly 121,400 20-foot cargo units moving through the port.