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Port Tampa Bay slated for $9M in federal budget

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Port Tampa Bay is one of three Florida seaports that could advance harbor deepening projects in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spending plan announced last week.

Port Tampa Bay would get $9 million in congressionally-approved discretionary funds, as well as $17.5 million to JAXPORT and $2.8 million for Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

“Since 2011, we have invested over $1 billion in state funding in our 15 world-class seaports and we appreciate the Trump Administration understanding the important role our ports have in supporting our economy and creating jobs,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement Wednesday.

The Tampa Bay money would go to deepen the Big Bend Channel to 43 feet from its current 34 feet, a project that could cost as much is $55 million. The JAXPORT project would deepen Jacksonville Harbor from 40 to 47 feet, allowing it to handle larger ships.

“This funding is a great start to the needed dredging at JaxPort, which will allow economic growth and trade to prosper in Northeast Florida,” U.S. Rep. John Rutherford said in a statement.

Despite the spending, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson warned about further transportation cuts in Donald Trump’s proposed budget, announced this week.

Trump’s budget, which still needs Congressional approval, ends Amtrak passenger train service in Florida.

Nelson said in a statement: “Eliminating Amtrak service in Florida not only affects the nearly 1 million Floridians who ride the train each year, it would have a real impact on our tourism-driven economy by making it harder for folks to come visit our state.”

 

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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