JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Mile Point authorization is not dead, according to Congresswoman Corrine Brown.

Congresswoman Brown said, "I am pleased to report that after seven long years, the House passed a Water Resources and Reform Development bill (WRRDA). This bill, in addition to addressing Mile Point authorization, will go a long way towards improving ports and increasing commerce throughout the nation. For instance, the bill cuts federal red tape and bureaucracy, streamlines the infrastructure project delivery process, fosters fiscal responsibility, and strengthens our water transportation networks to promote America's competitiveness, prosperity, and economic growth."

According to Brown, WRRDA will create 44,000 well-paying jobs for every $1 billion invested in the nation's infrastructure.

Deepening the harbor to 47 feet will allow larger ships now being deployed to the U.S. to arrive and depart more fully loaded.

Currently the project is moving into the engineering and design phase, which will cost an estimated $5-$6 million.

Brown says this is a big step in allowing the dredging project's move towards completion.

If for any reason the WRRDA is not signed into law, there is language in the FY 2012 Energy & Water Appropriations Act that allows JaxPort to move ahead with the preconstruction. Brown says the provisions allow construction without authorization if the sponsor can cover the full cost of the project.