Jacksonville, FL — JAXPORT is celebrating a milestone win, as the federal government is now fulling fund its portion of deepening the harbor. JAXPORT announced late Monday that more than $35 million was included in President Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2021. It’s the first time JAXPORT has ever received funding in the president’s budget.
Overall, the federal government is setting aside $93 million for the next phase of deepening the shipping channel to 47 feet. The Army Corps of Engineers’ FY 2020 Work Plan includes $57.5 million.
“This is a significant win for Jacksonville and as I have said before, the continued support from our state and federal partners demonstrates the strength of JAXPORT”, said Major Lenny Curry.
JAXPORT says an economic impact study shows harbor deepening will create or protect 15,000 jobs and return $24 for every $1 invested in the project.
“We are extremely grateful to our federal, state and local partners, as well as the dedication and leadership of the JAXPORT Board, for their steadfast support of our growth and the 138,000 jobs Jacksonville’s seaport generates in Florida”, said JAXPORT CEO Eric Green.
To date, more than $394 million toward the overall $484 million cost of the deepening project has been contributed or pledged from the federal government, the state of Florida, JAXPORT and SSA Jacksonville.
The 47-foot depth has long been sought by JAXPORT as it seeks to attract more cargo and larger ships from destinations throughout Asia and other markets. Asian container cargo business is up 55% in the past five years, according to data provided by JAXPORT.