Work began in 2018, after extensive studies, independent review, public input, and full regulatory approval. In coordination with the dredging of the waterway, the Jacksonville ‘Jaxport’ Port Authority and SSA completed more than $100 million in berth improvements. This will allow the container terminal at Blount Island to simultaneously accommodate two large neo-panamax mainline (NPX) vessels. The US Army Corps of Engineers this month completed the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening that increased the draft on the St. Johns River from the Atlantic Ocean to Jacksonville’s Blount Island terminals.
The project deepened the federal access channel from 12.20 m to 14.30 m, providing the necessary channel depth for larger container ships to arrive. Funding for the $420M dredging program was provided through a public-private partnership between the US Federal Government, the State of Florida, the City of Jacksonville, Jaxport, and terminal operator SSA.
Under the terms of an extended lease through 2044, the terminal will also be outfitted with three new NPX-sized ship-to-shore cranes in early 2023. The upgraded facility will then feature six large quayside gantries. The deepening of the harbor only goes upriver to Blount Island, meaning it will not benefit any of the wharves and terminals west of Dames Point.