A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday for construction on a project that employees say will take the Jacksonville Port Authority to the next level.
It's called the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility, or ICTF, at Dames Point and it will be a rail system that will make moving cargo easier and more efficient. Officials said it will take more trucks off the roads, helping with wear and tear of our streets saying this will ultimately be a cleaner way to move cargo.
“In about 18 months, this will be a rail yard and it will be hustling with the movement of cargo containers specifically the big metal boxes you see on the roadways on trucks,” said Nancy Rubin, spokeswoman for JaxPort.
The transportation of cargo will move from trucks to trains. Rubin said some cargo will still be transported by truck, but more will eventually be moved by the ICTF. Construction began on the facility Monday morning after the groundbreaking ceremony.
The project is set to be completed by the end of 2015, and Rubin said not only will this project improve efficiency, it will also make JaxPort more competitive.
“A rail yard like this is the mark of a mature and highly competitive port for JaxPort and northeast Florida. We are on the cusp of being a major player in the international trade and this is just one more project to move us that way,” said Rubin.
Rubin said the $30 million project is local, state and federally funded, showing the importance of the port to the whole nation.
"It goes about modernizing our ports and creating jobs, and at the end of the day it will allow us to put people back to work," Mayor Alvin Brown said.
The construction started at the site off New Berlin Court on the Northside. Rubin said people should realize they're all part of JaxPort's role in national and international trade.
“We all are because of the goods we use from the coffee maker to the alarm clock that wakes us up, the cell phones we depend, on computers cars so much of what we do in our daily lives is part of international trade so all of this does mean something to us as individuals,” said Rubin.