Monday, November 16, 2009

Error results in funding shortfall for Jacksonville port dredging project

A dredging project that will benefit cargo ships calling on Jacksonville’s Talleyrand port faces a multimillion funding shortfall because a federal survey incorrectly calculated the amount of material that would have to be dredged.The Army Corps awarded a $46 million contract this year for dredging a 5.3 mile stretch of the St. Johns River leading up to Talleyrand.

But it could cost an estimated $18 million more to do the work, Army Corps project manager Steve Ross said today.

He said the contractor has continued to do the dredging and the Corps is working to get money so the work will finish as scheduled by September 2010. Based on the estimated cost increases, the Army Corps would need $2.5 million from the Jacksonville Port Authority to help cover the overruns, he said.

He said the Corps has corralled additional federal money but still would need another $3.5 to $4.5 million in federal dollars to close the funding shortfall.

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