Jacksonville, FL - The President has signed the ‘Water Bill’, giving federal authorization to billions of dollars in port projects- including two big ones in Jacksonville.
While funding a cross current fix at Mile Point has already secured funding as well, a more than $370 million question looms for dredging the harbor to 47 feet.
“Whatever we decide in terms of funding, we have to get a reasonable return,” says City Council President Bill Gulliford.
The nearly $700 million deepening project will be partially funded by the federal government. About $370 million in funding, however, will have to come from the state and city.
The Florida Department of Transportation Secretary recently told WOKV they would be ready to step in and help fund dredging when authorization came through. The City of Jacksonville has also formed a special task force to look in to dredging and, in part, how best to cover the city’s portion of the bill.
“I believe there’s going to have to be some significant local funding,” Gulliford says.
The authorization for that funding would ultimately fall to City Council, although the decision won’t be made for some time. JAXPORT says the design phase of the project could begin soon with existing funding. The best scenario has construction starting in 2016.