Jaxport Wins $20M BUILD Grant from Department of Transportation

File image courtesy Jaxport

Published Nov 7, 2019 6:11 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport) a $20 million grant to rebuild over 100 acres of existing terminal pavement at the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal. The funding is part of a larger $238 million plan to expand and upgrade the facility, with more than 65 percent of funds coming from private partner SSA Marine.

Jaxport says that the improvements will increase efficiency and allow the terminal to accommodate more containers on an expanded footprint. Once completed, the facility will be able to handle an additional 425,000 TEU per year. 

The funds were awarded through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grant program, a DOT-administered fund for infrastructure projects that are important to national objectives.

“The award of this highly competitive grant speaks volumes about the significance of this project to the economy of our region and country,” said Jaxport CEO Eric Green in a statement. “We are grateful to [DOT] Secretary Elaine Chao and our state and federal elected officials who continue to advocate for our growth."

Supporters of JAXPORT's grant application included Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Rick Scott, and Congressmen John Rutherford, Ted Yoho, Al Lawson and Michael Waltz.

The SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal is a public-private partnership between JAXPORT and SSA Marine. SSA Marine is contributing up to $130 million of its own funding for the use of the terminal and facility upgrades, including the addition of three 100-gauge container cranes. In addition, over $100 million in berth rehabilitation and upgrades are currently underway in order to  allow the terminal to accommodate two post-Panamax vessels at the same time. 

The ongoing federal project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 feet is scheduled to be complete by 2023. When finished, it will give Jaxport's container terminals the capacity to accommodate more cargo aboard the larger ships arriving from Asia, an important and growing part of the port's cargo mix.