TAMPA, Fla.— The Tampa Port Authority is pleased to announce that it is among a number of Florida ports to receive a portion of $150 million in state funding to finance port capital projects. This move on Tuesday underscores Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s continued commitment to bolster the state’s 15 seaports as critical economic engines with lasting economic impacts. The Port of Tampa will receive approximately $23 million to invest in capital projects.
Governor Scott has made it clear that port development and international trade are critical keys to growing the state’s economy and to the state’s vitality as a major player in global trade, particularly as it relates to the expansion of the Panama Canal. As a result, his administration and the state Cabinet have increased their commitment to ports in recent years, and Tuesday’s funding commitment provides momentum and direction for 16 projects approved by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
“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.
“I am very proud of our state leadership and Governor Rick Scott for allocating these much-needed funds to Florida seaports,” Paul Anderson, Tampa Port Authority president and CEO, said. “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. The state is investing in legacy projects delivering generational impacts.”
Anderson expresses his gratitude and acknowledgement of the support being demonstrated on the state level for Florida’s ports, as well as the leadership on a national scale of the State of Florida, its governor and state leadership in working to back port- and trade-friendly federal legislation and funding initiatives.
Generally, 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. With its $22.68 million in bond funds and matching funds, the Port of Tampa will 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. These facilities are the key to accelerating regional economic development and the long-term investment in all three developments will exceed $250 million.
The Port Redwing project, which will receive $7.5 million, includes 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.
The $9.2 million for Hooker’s Point will assist in a massive multi-phased development in the heart of the port’s main peninsula, with investments in 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.
The $6 million in funding for Eastport will be used 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.
The port authority is grateful to Governor Scott, the Florida Cabinet, and FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad, for their foresight, support and monetary commitment to Florida’s seaports and transportation infrastructure, which is enabling Florida to build up its own economy in tandem with growing global commerce.
The Port of Tampa is the largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and generating almost $15 billion in annual economic impact. The port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major cruise homeport and shipbuilding and repair center. For more information, visit www.tampaport.com.