Florida Port Expansion?

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

If you're a major shipping company looking for a port of call, Florida looks pretty attractive, but, don't dock just yet. Unlike most other American ports, ours don't have access to rail lines or the kind of water depth to welcome the world's biggest cargo ships...
At least not yet.

Rick Scott, Florida governor-elect, says, "We're going to make Florida the best place in the entire United States to do business."

In his quest to revitalize our economy, governor-elect Scott's transition team is out with a new report that recommends expanding capacity at each of Florida's ports. It also calls for dredging our four biggest ports - Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville and Everglades - to allow for those so-called 'super' container ships to dock.

"Our geographic location is the envy of the rest of the globe."

Dale Brill with the Florida Chamber of Commerce helped craft the recommendations. He says if they're implemented. we could see more than 143,000 new, high-wage jobs.

Brill says, "We are the state that's closest to Africa and the Suez Canal in the United States, on the eastern seaboard, and with the post-Panamax ships coming from the widening of the Panama Canal, they're going to bypass Long Beach and California, they're going to go somewhere, and we want them to come to Florida."

Port expansion may be critical to expanding Florida's economy, but it comes with a big price tag - around 1.8 billion dollars.

When Scott takes over here at the capitol, he may find it difficult to come up with the money, especially with a budget deficit in upwards of three billion.

Some critics are privately complaining port expansion might come at the expense of building and maintaining roadways. Without them, it's tough to move all that cargo from the port to the store.

"Everything state government does, it restricts our freedom, so what should we be doing?"

The answer from his own team - an overhaul down at the docks.
For his part, Scott has yet to make any promises.

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  • by Kevin Location: Tallahassee on Dec 27, 2010 at 06:14 AM
    Since Rick Scott says he actually wants to show up when there is a problem, and roll up his sleeves and work until the problem is solved, I want to see him out there helping to dredge all four of these ports. MAYBE HE'LL PAY FOR IT WITH THE MONEY THE FEDS ARE GIVING US FOR THE HIGH SPEED RAIL PROJECT. This is what crooks do. If he can get away with Medicare fraud, he could easily get away with this.
  • by The Original Bob Location: Perry on Dec 25, 2010 at 03:09 PM
    Good idea! Let's get to work!
  • by matt Location: port of ny on Dec 24, 2010 at 05:52 PM
    dont dredge and the ships wiil come north thankyou your loss is my gain
  • by anon Location: here on Dec 24, 2010 at 11:28 AM
    Mr. Kinsey is not accurate with the no rail statement. The Blount Island (JAXPORT) facility in Jacksonville has had a rail spur since the early 1970s. Studies have already been started as to whether the Army Corps of Engineers will permit dredge companies to deepen the existing St.Johns channel from 42 to 50feet deep. Many riverfront residential properties in that area are loosing yards now due to erosion. The other situation that port activity will hinge on is dealing with the Longshoremans union. As much as most here complain about unions and how rabid they have been against the teachers union and their opposition to SB 6, I am waiting to hear what the politican say about the Longshoremen.
  • by Typical Republican Location: FL on Dec 24, 2010 at 07:34 AM
    Who cares about the environment! Let's get all white old men rich!!!!
  • by Yeah I Work on Dec 24, 2010 at 06:55 AM
    So the first thing he does is fire a lot of dedicated state employees.. and most are Rebublicans, too.
  • by dredge em out Location: fla. on Dec 23, 2010 at 08:28 PM
    the price of jobs is destruction of the enviroment.
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