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Rail News: Intermodal

Florida to provide $288 million for port improvements


Florida Gov. Rick Scott last week announced his recommended Florida Department of Transportation Work Program would provide $288 million in state funding for port infrastructure improvements.

The state allocations would help ports improve connectivity for enhanced freight movements, upgrade existing berths and terminals, dredge channels and increase capacity for larger ships. The governor's proposal also calls for removing a manufacturing equipment tax, which would help increase exports and job growth in the state.

The state funding underscores the importance of Florida's ports to economic development, said Bill Johnson, chairman of the Florida Ports Council and director of PortMiami, in a prepared statement.

"We are fortunate to have a governor who recognizes the economic impact of Florida's transportation system, including seaports, and the great potential for growth," he said, adding that the $288 million "will pay dividends now and for decades to come."

Port Everglades
Chief Executive and Port Director Steven Cernak concurs.

"Gov. Scott clearly recognizes the need to invest in Florida's future through its seaports, which create high-wage jobs through capital improvements and increases in international trade and cruise travel," he said.

Jacksonville Port Authority Interim CEO Roy Schleicher also praised the governor's recognition of ports' role.

"The governor and state leadership are supporting our ports in the ways that count the most: with strategic investment for the future as we compete head-to-head with other states for cargo and the jobs and dollars that come with growing cargo volumes," he said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/11/2013