Finally! Feds Recognize Urgency of Florida Port Upgrades

By: Jim Turner | Posted: July 21, 2012 3:55 AM
Jacksonville Port

Jacksonville Port | Credit:

There was a hint of “it’s about time” Thursday, as Florida port leaders praised a federal announcement to speed up work at JaxPort. State officials took it as a sign the feds are joining their effort to push upgrades at Sunshine State port facilities.

With President Obama campaigning in Florida on Thursday, the White House announced “We Can’t Wait,” a program that would advance the permitting process for the Jacksonville port’s Intermodal Container Facility and move up a study to dredge the ship channel for JaxPort by a year. The facility will help assist the movement of cargo in and out of the port by providing on-dock rail.

Last year Florida Gov. Rick Scott had to put up state dollars to advance the federally backed work to deepen PortMiami.

The Florida Ports Council noted that additional projects are expected to be announced in coming weeks.

Comments on the federal plan:

Florida Ports Council President Doug Wheeler

“The Florida Ports Council is glad to see the federal government recognizing the importance of Florida seaports and freight infrastructure as a priority.”

PortMiami Director and Florida Ports Council Chair Bill Johnson

“Over the past several years, the Deep Dredge has been a No. 1 priority for PortMiami. We are pleased now to receive federal recognition of its importance. Governor Scott and the state Legislature made this project happen through advancing state financing of the federal share of the project. We hope this signals a commitment by the White House to include PortMiami in the FY 2014 federal budget -- this is now the critical issue.

“Florida’s leadership for PortMiami’s Deep Dredge, and support of other seaport projects throughout the state, serves as a national model for local-state-federal partnerships.”

JAXPORT CEO and Florida Ports Council Legislative Chair Paul Anderson

"We are moving from talk to action, and that's what it's going to take to keep this nation competitive globally. Expediting careful review of the process toward our deepening project and ICTF construction and the other projects on the president's list will create benefits for generations to come. By elevating the discussion of the critical needs of U.S. ports to the highest levels of government, our president and our lawmakers are sending a clear message to the world: We are not going to fall behind; we are improving our process every day and we will create the ports of the future."

Reach Jim Turner at or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (2)

10:40AM JUL 21ST 2012
NO, NO, NO, don't want no darn Obama money, got to demonize anything he proposes.

God, got to have that federal port money, yesterday.

Hypocrites all.
Karl Guenther
8:29AM JUL 21ST 2012
This rearranged rail was just posted mid June 2012: NASA contest: STC150; SEARCH www SkyTrainCorp . com
We have a team ready to do the final design, the solution for congested port surrounding land using off site staging.

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