The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) has received a grant for port infrastructure improvements.

JAXPORT will use it to reconstruct and upgrade about 100 acres of the Jacksonville Container Terminal in Blount Island.

The $20m funding is part of a $238m plan to expand and upgrade the facility. It was awarded through the US Department of Transportation (DOT) initiative.

The investment is part of the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grant programme.

The initiative will enable the port to better accommodate large container vessels.

JAXPORT CEO Eric Green said: “The award of this highly competitive grant speaks volumes about the significance of this project to the economy of our region and country.

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“We are grateful to Secretary Elaine Chao and our state and federal elected officials who continue to advocate for our growth, further positioning Northeast Florida to take full advantage of the economic opportunities our thriving seaport creates.”

The facility will be capable of handling approximately 425,000 additional twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually.

JAXPORT will also upgrade other facilities, including storm drainage, enhanced lighting, signage and utilities.

SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal is a public-private partnership (PPP) between JAXPORT and SSA Marine.

SSA Marine will provide $129.7m for the use of terminal and facility upgrades, including three 100-gauge container cranes.

An additional $109m has been allocated for berth rehabilitation and upgrades, which will enable the terminal to simultaneously accommodate two post-Panamax vessels.

A project that will involve the Jacksonville shipping channel deepening to 47ft is scheduled to be completed in 2023.