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Florida DOT to provide $35 million for three port projects


Florida Gov. Rick Scott yesterday announced the state proposes to provide about $35 million for three port projects that will be recommended to the Legislature for the upcoming session.

The additional investments would be included in the Florida Department of Transportation's (FDOT) Work Program.

"With this nearly $35 million commitment for critical port projects, we'll enhance our ports' ability to move more goods that will position Florida to play an even greater role in global trade," said Scott in a press release. "Our strategy to make Florida the gateway for global trade is working."

The state proposes to allocate $14.7 million to Port Everglades for a turning notch project; $10.4 million to the Port of Tampa for a container yard improvement project; and $9.7 million to Port Canaveral to develop a container yard.

"These strategic port improvements will position Florida to capitalize on the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015," said FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad.

Between 2011 and 2014, the state has allocated $642 million for port projects, including waterside projects for ports in Cape Canaveral, Miami and Jacksonville, and terminal and rail improvements at the Port of Tampa. Last month, Scott and Florida's cabinet approved the proposed bond issuance of $150 million to fund 16 port projects.

"Our state has shown that investment in ports and commitment to freight infrastructure is an invaluable strategy to getting people back to work and creating a healthy economy," said Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Walsh.

The state also plans to allocate funds for Intermodal Logistics Centers (ILC), which "play a significant role in expanding Florida's trade and logistics infrastructure by enhancing our seaports, airports and railroads, and supporting intermodal highway connectors," said Scott. A new ILC infrastructure support program will provide $5 million annually for such projects.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/17/2013