Port workers excited about dredging St. Johns River

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Port workers see more jobs on the horizon after the deepening of St. Johns River to accommodate huge cargo ships was approved.

On Wednesday, JAXPORT announced the Army Corps of Engineers signed off on deepening the channel to 47 feet. The approval was critical to be included in the Water Resources Development Act that is being considered by Congress. If approved and the local project included, it would mean $400 million dollars towards dredging.

"Going to bring more jobs to the port," said Arthur Prater, who has a dozen years under his belt as a longshoreman.

Nicole Wynn, who once worked security at JAXPORT, is now an escort driver accompanying trucks that haul cargo into the port.

"I am excited," she said about what the future holds. "It may be that I get to make some of that big money over there. So I would be definitely happy when they start dredging."

Congressional committees soon will debate the merits of projects in the Water Resources Development Act. The Jacksonville project being included was a huge hurdle that needed to be cleared.

"Now we are in the red zone," said Chamber of Commerce President Daniel Davis, noting before the project was outside the 20-yard line.


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