As container cargo ships become larger, so do the demands on Florida ports.
As the Intracoastal Waterway and St. Johns River converge at Mile Point, the largest, deep-draft container vessels calling JAXPORT's terminals can only enter the harbor twice daily at high tide. Completing the Mile Point project will significantly reduce this restriction, saving carriers and shippers time as these ships unload and load at JAXPORT terminals.
Currently, larger container ships can only travel the St. Johns River during two four-hour periods of the day due to the tidal effects at the Mile Point location. Strong currents threaten these ships whose heavy cargo makes them less navigable, creating a potential safety hazard as well as significant delays where ships are forced to wait for high tides. The improvement will correct cross-currents that keep larger ships from using the channel on ebb tide.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the construction of the project. Crews are currently excavating along the shore and laying rock mats underwater that will serve as the foundation for the western training wall. Phase I should be completed in the fall. Phase II will begin a year later and focus on restoring marshlands. The state has advanced $43.5 million for design and construction of the Mile Point harbor improvement project.