Tampa, Florida -- The Tampa Port Authority announced Wednesday that it is one of Florida's 15 ports set to receive a portion of $150 million in state funding to finance port capital projects.
The Port of Tampa has been allotted approximately $23 million.
The move, said the Port Authority, underscores Florida Gov. Rick Scott's continued commitment to bolster the state's seaports as critical economic engines with lasting economic impacts.
"This $150 million investment in Florida ports will strengthen Florida's role as a hub for global commerce," Scott said. "Florida's ports support international trade and domestic manufacturing, and create jobs for Florida families. With this investment, we will continue to position Florida as a leader in global trade and commerce," Scott said.
In the Port Authority's announcement, it was said that much of the $150 million will be used to prepare Florida's ports for Panama Canal expansion.
"The revisions will allow larger vessels to move through the canal. Ports across the Gulf and the Atlantic seaboard have been upgrading their facilities to accommodate additional business opportunities generated by canal expansion," reps said.
Specifically, the Port of Tampa will use the $22.68 million in bond funds and matching funds, to continue to build upon three distinct, vital projects representing $45 million in capital improvements at Port Redwing, Hooker's Point, and the area known as Eastport.
"Together, these projects form the core of the port's strategic plans for strengthening its economic might, diversifying and expanding its general cargo capabilities, and helping the port round out and modernize facilities for international trade."
The Tampa Port Authority plans to divvy the money as follows:
- Port Redwing project: Will receive $7.5 million to be spent on berthing, cargo storage, road and rail connectivity, dredging, navigational improvements, cargo handling equipment, utilities and security. These facilities are located in an expansion area to the south of the main port, and will provide the infrastructure necessary to handle projected future growth generated by Florida's growing consumer markets.
Hooker's Point: Will receive $9.2 million to assist in a massive multi-phased development in the heart of the port's main peninsula. Investments there will include auto terminals, refrigerated warehousing and transloading, road construction, an ICTF, container terminal expansion and gate relocation. The project lowers cost-to-market for domestic manufacturing and international sourcing, providing considerable momentum to Florida's economy.
Eastport: Will receive $6 million to go toward a berth, storage yard and road relocation, which comprise the second phase of a brand new multi-berth waterside and landside development. The facilities will help the port maintain and expand existing markets and cargo flows, with supporting infrastructure for both general and new bulk cargo operations.
In total, the Port Authority said the long-term investments in all three developments will be upwards of $250 million.
"I am very proud of our state leadership and Governor Rick Scott for allocating these much-needed funds to Florida seaports," said Paul Anderson, Tampa Port Authority president and CEO of the bond and matching funds. "Our ports and our citizens will all benefit in significant ways as our ports continue to build infrastructure, modernize and create jobs, partnerships and economic value that we badly need for our economic health moving forward."