The Mile Point dredging project at Jaxport will allow more than just the 8 hour window available now during slack tide for larger ships to come in and out of the port, and that means a bunch of new jobs created directly and indirectly for Jacksonville.
Mile Point is where the St. Johns River converges with the intercoastal waterway.
The $35.6 million project would remove an existing training wall, a wall of rocks that extends out from the shoreline, and also make the harbor deeper and make it easier for the bigger vessels that come through Jaxport to get in.
"We are going to do everything we can at Jaxport to work with the city, our new mayor, and our Congressional delegation to get this fixed for the people of Northeast Florida," says Paul Anderson, Chief Executive Officer for Jaxport.
The only problem he can see on the horizon is getting a bill through Congress. He says considering the amount of political gamesmanship, drama, and deadlocking that has been going on in Congress the past month, he thinks it'll be very tough getting any bill with an appropriation for a project like Mile Point through. But he says it absolutely needs to be done.
"If we want to double and triple our exports, as the president has called for, we have to improve the infrastructure in our gateways especially, and those are our ports."
If a bill did get through Congress and the money was appropriated for the project, it could be done as soon as 2014.