The Jaxson

Community => Transportation, Mass Transit & Infrastructure => Topic started by: jaxlongtimer on May 12, 2021, 05:31:15 PM

Title: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: jaxlongtimer on May 12, 2021, 05:31:15 PM
Unbelievably, after JaxPort increased the City's storm water vulnerabilities*, risked the river's ecosystems and spent hundreds of millions for a dredging project, it now appears that it may not be fully useful for its intended purpose.

That is, and only partially so at that, unless tens of millions more are spent to raise JEA's power lines over the river which has, amazingly, up to now, never been addressed.  Further, the Dames Point Bridge remains a height limitation for some ships.

Just another example of our local Authorities manipulating City leaders and citizens to get their way on projects with grandiose plans, false urgency to short circuit appropriate due diligence, input and debate and prostituted consultant projections - only to lead to later catastrophic failures, broken promises, finger pointing scandals and taxpayers holding the bag. 

Many questioned the value of the dredging for many reasons and here we are with a major failure to address those concerns properly.  This is a fine example of what JTA also appears to be doing with the AV/Skyway.  We should expect a similar outcome... or worse.

Between JPA, JTA and JEA, I am trying to figure out if there is a competition between them to be the most incompetent and manipulative  :-[.

Quote
Jaxport: JEA must raise power lines over river if port is to attract larger vessels

The Jacksonville Port Authority is pushing to have the high-voltage power lines over the St. Johns River raised, a multimillion dollar project it says is necessary to fully benefit from the harbor deepening project to be completed next year.

The 175-foot height restriction imposed by the lines means the port will struggle to lure larger ships that would otherwise be attracted by what will soon be deeper water in the shipping channel, Jaxport Chief Operating Officer Fred Wong said.

"The only way we can optimize the use of that channel is to use larger and deeper vessels," Wong told the Business Journal in an interview. "The more constraints you end up pulling off of there, the better it is for the carriers when they’re planning services for the future."....

....If the height restriction is not eliminated, Wong said, the port would still be behind competitors like Savannah even after the deepening project was complete. Savannah can accept ships with masts going up to 185 feet...

....The port's push comes three years after dredgers began work on deepening the shipping channel, the culmination of years of political fighting to get permission and money for the $410 million project.

The need for more space above the water — known in the trade as "air draft" — was not envisioned as part of the project when the port embarked on the deepening work, which it has long argued is necessary to remain competitive....

...."Raising the power lines to increase the air draft is essential to allow the larger vessels to safely traverse the newly deepened channel and call on the Blount Island Marine Terminal," the port said in the information packet sent to JEA.

But it is unclear who would pay for the work.

"That would be the million-dollar question our executive leadership is discussing," Wong said.....

....For the port, the answer to that question comes with some urgency. Millions have already been spent on the deepening: The federal government has put $192 million into making the river deeper, with the state chipping in $140 million and the city ponying up $70 million.

While that work won't be for naught if the lines aren't raised, Peek said, without the elimination of the height restriction, the port won't fully have the benefits that a deeper shipping channel has long promised....

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2021/05/12/jaxport-air-draft-jea-wires.html?ana=e_jac_bn_breakingnews_breakingnews&j=90559804&t=Breaking%20News&mkt_tok=NjczLVVXWS0yMjkAAAF9AU5Lxki1hCp_u79MNVb-7jhJRPdrHxigK_FeAqk4fZEO5e-oCOd-BKGlSvo-0V1xXzHx562QSq0Fev2aTnyJTbhxKToc3Bh9-ipjmSw9KJp_iJvT14I (https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2021/05/12/jaxport-air-draft-jea-wires.html?ana=e_jac_bn_breakingnews_breakingnews&j=90559804&t=Breaking%20News&mkt_tok=NjczLVVXWS0yMjkAAAF9AU5Lxki1hCp_u79MNVb-7jhJRPdrHxigK_FeAqk4fZEO5e-oCOd-BKGlSvo-0V1xXzHx562QSq0Fev2aTnyJTbhxKToc3Bh9-ipjmSw9KJp_iJvT14I)

* Coincidentally, Nate Monroe wrote a column today on this very subject:

Quote
Nate Monroe: A century of dredging has left Jacksonville vulnerable to storm surge, study finds

The agency budgeted no money for environmental mitigation or for increased flood-protection, and city officials, who are now laudably more engaged on issues like climate change and resiliency — the city's capacity to withstand storms — have so far shown no interest in putting real money behind efforts to counteract the damage being done by constantly deepening the river.

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/columns/nate-monroe/2021/05/12/nate-monroe-dredging-has-made-jacksonville-vulnerable-storm-surge/5046306001/ (https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/columns/nate-monroe/2021/05/12/nate-monroe-dredging-has-made-jacksonville-vulnerable-storm-surge/5046306001/)
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: marcuscnelson on May 12, 2021, 06:47:37 PM
I don't think this is only the government's fault. Businesspeople like CSX's former CFO advocated for the dredging years ago:

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/city-has-catching-do-rail-service

Quote
He said the location of Jacksonville’s port, which is actually much farther west than other East Coast ports, gives Jacksonville a competitive edge because freight transport by water is cheaper. That should appeal to businesses that are looking to transport freight inland through a Florida port.

“Jacksonville’s the only port in Florida where it makes economic sense,” Eliasson said.

However, he believes Jacksonville will have to invest in the port, including the proposed dredging project to deepen the harbor channel to 47 feet.

“We really, until the last five or six years, haven’t focused on our port, but we’re really going to have to make some investments,” Eliasson said.

“If we’re going to be competitive, we’re going to have to invest in our port infrastructure,” he said. “You can’t survive long term on 41 feet.”
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: jaxlongtimer on May 12, 2021, 07:18:16 PM
I don't think this is only the government's fault. Businesspeople like CSX's former CFO advocated for the dredging years ago:

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/city-has-catching-do-rail-service

Quote
He said the location of Jacksonville’s port, which is actually much farther west than other East Coast ports, gives Jacksonville a competitive edge because freight transport by water is cheaper. That should appeal to businesses that are looking to transport freight inland through a Florida port.

“Jacksonville’s the only port in Florida where it makes economic sense,” Eliasson said.

However, he believes Jacksonville will have to invest in the port, including the proposed dredging project to deepen the harbor channel to 47 feet.

“We really, until the last five or six years, haven’t focused on our port, but we’re really going to have to make some investments,” Eliasson said.

“If we’re going to be competitive, we’re going to have to invest in our port infrastructure,” he said. “You can’t survive long term on 41 feet.”

Lot's of people, particularly those who stood to benefit financially, such as CSX that serves the port, have supported this project.  And just as many or more opposed it.  Weighing in on the dredging like this is fine but it is just a high level opinion/wish and certainly shouldn't be taken that such individual would necessarily endorse the project had they had full knowledge of the details.  I would also venture to say that if CSX had been asked to contribute millions toward this project as a beneficiary of it, they might have been more circumspect in how they supported it.  And, no way they would invest in dredging the river if they knew ships couldn't take advantage due to height limitations.  It's also easy to support something when you have no skin in the game and can't be held accountable for the results.

In the end, the responsibility and accountability solely falls to the leadership of the Port to do proper due diligence to determine the ROI, feasibility, risks, benefits, etc. for a project like this and to execute a plan that delivers on the promises made to gain approval.  In gathering public support, they also should be fully transparent and honest about their findings, decision making process and the full scope and impact of the project.

I don't see that happening here based on this story.  Further, I am concerned that, over time, this project also won't deliver with respect to promises about its economic benefits*, accentuating damaging storm surge or negatively impacting the ecosystem of the river. 

This height issue being swept aside up until now is just another example, to me, of a manipulative process to get things done, opposition be damned, and then say "oops" later when there is no turning back and we citizens are thus extorted.  As stated earlier, the Skyway is another such example.

*If the economic benefits are so certain, the Port user fees should cover the full cost of the dredging without taxpayer subsidies.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: Charles Hunter on May 12, 2021, 08:45:07 PM
I'm guessing that raising the power lines was NOT in the Environmental Impact Statement, or the documents used to calculate the cost:benefit ratio of the dredging.  It does, however, weaken the port's argument to dredge west of the Dames Point Bridge - it is not getting any higher.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: Lostwave on May 13, 2021, 09:36:41 AM
How would raising power lines help?  Dames Point Bridge only has 175 foot clearance.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: Captain Zissou on May 13, 2021, 10:00:59 AM
How would raising power lines help?  Dames Point Bridge only has 175 foot clearance.
The article mentions the blount island terminal which is east of the dames point. The power lines in question are about 1.5 miles east of the bridge.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: Charles Hunter on May 13, 2021, 10:07:13 AM
How would raising power lines help?  Dames Point Bridge only has 175 foot clearance.

There are about 6900 feet (1.3 miles) of wharf along Blount Island west of the JEA power lines.  Blount Island east of the power lines is part of the USMC facility and unavailable for JaxPort activity.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: fieldafm on May 13, 2021, 10:20:29 AM
How would raising power lines help?  Dames Point Bridge only has 175 foot clearance.

The current dredging project ends at the bridge. The TraPac, breakbulk, ro/ro and cruise terminal West of the Dames Point will continue to service their current ship capacities.  Most of the larger ships (and any Post-Panamax ships over a 165ft draft height) are being processed at the SSA terminal East of the bridge, on Blount Island. The SSA terminal just received large berthing upgrades and of course the deeper shipping channel.  The power lines split Blount Island in half... East of the power lines is the USMC/BMC terminal, and West of the power lines is the SSA terminal. 

Its curious that JaxPort is pushing JEA for this based on two events- JaxPort losing the CHA CGM service that called on the SSA terminal it shared with Charleston, Savannah, Norfolk and New Jersey, and the Hapag-Lloyd EC service that called on the TraPac terminal... and JaxPort's desire to purchase JEA's former NGS property (which has terminal access within the Blount Island channel).   

The loss of the CMA CGM service had more to do with consolidation in the shipping industry, which happens from time to time (particularly at a time when global shipping trade is contracting due to the year-plus-long pandemic)... and doesn't appear to have anything to do with container volume or draft capabilities. Hapag-Lloyd shifted some of the container volume to another line that calls on TraPac. While there is a net decrease in container volume, its really negligible due to the increase in containers on the other East Coast Loop line at TraPac.  JaxPort has gained and lost these type of routes for decades due to the ebbs and flows of the trade industry and specific business flows of individual companies.

Also really skeptical of JaxPort's desire for JEA's property.  There seems to be a lot of smoke, on this issue.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: vicupstate on May 13, 2021, 10:21:29 AM
Just think of the money that could have been saved if some time in the 1950's or so, the port had been moved to the Mayport area.  No need to dredge (which has been done more than once), no need to have a super tall bridge over the St. Johns.  No need to raise the power lines.  Probably would have saved a billion dollars. 
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: marcuscnelson on May 13, 2021, 11:10:22 AM
I guess? Not sure what value there is to thinking about it now. It's been 70 years, the port is where it is, and we have to deal with it.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: jaxlongtimer on May 13, 2021, 11:48:27 AM
Just think of the money that could have been saved if some time in the 1950's or so, the port had been moved to the Mayport area.  No need to dredge (which has been done more than once), no need to have a super tall bridge over the St. Johns.  No need to raise the power lines.  Probably would have saved a billion dollars.

From an historical perspective, it probably made sense well over a hundred years ago to put the port where the people, factories and commodities were, i.e. where it is now.  Connecting rail access was there and back then, too, ships, being a fraction of today's sizes, probably could mostly navigate the river with minimal man-made "improvements."  Most certainly, there were no concerns about height restrictions due to bridges or power lines  8).  (FYI, our first bridge, the original Acosta, built in the 1920's was inland of the mid-century port facilities that stretched into the heart of Downtown.  Additionally, even it had a lift span to accommodate taller boats headed down river.). Resilience from hurricanes might have also been a concern.

While maybe "ideal" in theory, I am not sure Mayport could handle the size of the port in terms of wharf frontage and slips unless they could take over Mayport NAS's real estate which is likely never to happen in the next several lifetimes.  Even then, I am not sure if the size of the the Navy's ship basin matches up to the infrastructure at JaxPort.

As for the rest of Mayport, we couldn't even figure out how to get a single cruise ship ported there.  A big issue, aside from water-side and land-side assets, is access.  There is no easy way out of Mayport to the rest of the world and no way the Beaches community would want trucks coming their way.  Ironically, decades ago, I believe Mayport had a rail connection that ran down what is now Beach Blvd. but we also forsook that opportunity.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: Charles Hunter on May 13, 2021, 12:15:59 PM
^ Good summary of why the port is where it is.

Just a note about rail access, there was also a rail line through Arlington directly to Mayport. The Wonderwood bridge over Greenfield Creek and Pablo Creek (Intracoastal Waterway) follows the old Jacksonville, Mayport, and Pablo RR causeway (JM&P, aka "Jump Men and Push" due to reported unreliability). As I recall, part of JTA's permit to build the bridge required them to remove some of the causeway, to re-open natural water flows.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: vicupstate on May 13, 2021, 12:47:27 PM
I understand the historical reasons for the port being where it is, but imagine if in the '90's when Naval facilities all over the country were closed, Mayport had been closed instead of Cecil.  Move the port to Mayport.  Ships would port virtually next to the open Ocean. Surely that beats the situation with Savannah. No need to dredge or raise power lines. No worries of Dames Point for the cruise ships. The Wonderwood connector made Mayport a lot more accessible, which presumably would have been built sooner under this scenario.  I know its water under the bridge (pun intended) but if you could turn back time, it would make a lot of sense in many ways.     
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: jaxlongtimer on May 13, 2021, 01:39:32 PM
I understand the historical reasons for the port being where it is, but imagine if in the '90's when Naval facilities all over the country were closed, Mayport had been closed instead of Cecil.  Move the port to Mayport.  Ships would port virtually next to the open Ocean. Surely that beats the situation with Savannah. No need to dredge or raise power lines. No worries of Dames Point for the cruise ships. The Wonderwood connector made Mayport a lot more accessible, which presumably would have been built sooner under this scenario.  I know its water under the bridge (pun intended) but if you could turn back time, it would make a lot of sense in many ways.     

I understand your point but you must consider that the likelihood of that scenario was close to zero.

They made a mistake closing Cecil here and it was the only base that they closed and then voted to reopen again (basically, an admission of their mistake).  Unfortunately, for the Navy, the community had already moved too far forward with converting it to civilian use and the costs and public support did not lend to its reopening.

Given that poor decision by the Navy, it would have been far worse and likely also more impactful locally, if they closed Mayport (not that it was ever considered).  Aside from Newport News, the Navy really has no other place on the Eastern seaboard where they could likely duplicate or transfer Mayport's assets and advantages (including ones you cite for JaxPort that apply equally to the Navy*), especially taking into account location and proximity to Jax NAS and Kings Bay.  The Navy is deemed to be over-concentrated in Norfolk (Norfolk is considered by many a "Pearl Harbor" risk) and, to this day, held back only by politics, the Navy has expressed interest in re-basing aircraft carriers at Mayport, its only real alternative.

* There aren't many ships that draft more than an aircraft carrier, above or below the water line, so, clearly, the Navy is looking at the same issues JaxPort is and they likely have even fewer options so the ocean-side port is even more critical to them.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: bl8jaxnative on May 14, 2021, 12:07:47 PM
Mayport is far too small to accomodate all of that.

And if if the area was big enough, it require some serious reworking of mother earth to be able to offer even half as many berths.  Dredging in comparison is a breeze.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: bl8jaxnative on May 14, 2021, 12:14:42 PM

Total bs to get uppity over dredging's contributions.   If you don't want to get flooded, don't build where Jacksonville is located. 
It's built at sea level and, especially the core, drained swamp and flat as hell.   It would be have all the same problems and vulnerabilities regardless of dredging.


Even better --> Instead of pissing away 1/2 a BILLION on robo buses that can't see black people ( probably why they're running them in Riverside and not Grand Am, eh? ).... how about we put that into a seawall?
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: fieldafm on May 14, 2021, 01:10:26 PM

Total bs to get uppity over dredging's contributions.   If you don't want to get flooded, don't build where Jacksonville is located. 
It's built at sea level and, especially the core, drained swamp and flat as hell.   It would be have all the same problems and vulnerabilities regardless of dredging.


Even better --> Instead of pissing away 1/2 a BILLION on robo buses that can't see black people ( probably why they're running them in Riverside and not Grand Am, eh? ).... how about we put that into a seawall?

If you want to stick your head in the sand about how dredging has drastically affected the river flow over the past several decades.... there are many sandbars newly created on Browns Creek from the latest dredging efforts... that go along with sandbars stretching from Clapboard Creek to as far down as Mill Cove from previous dredging efforts... in which you can choose from.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: thelakelander on May 14, 2021, 01:17:33 PM
Yeah, it's been well covered locally in the past about how the dredging has negatively impacted the fishing industry around Mill Cove.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: acme54321 on May 14, 2021, 02:37:05 PM
After they dredged alligator cut back in the day mill cove has basically filled in.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: BridgeTroll on May 14, 2021, 05:13:33 PM
After they dredged alligator cut back in the day mill cove has basically filled in.

Then dredging there is required... The river is an economic engine... always has been.  If not for the shipping Jax would be a swampy backwater. Yes... there are environmental impacts.  Pick your poison.  Walk along the Riverwalk anywhere and start counting all the litter and trash lining the river... Your litter and trash.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: marcuscnelson on May 16, 2021, 03:25:17 AM
Some letters yesterday combating the concerns on dredging. No mention of the power lines.

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/opinion/2021/05/15/letters-readers-why-cant-citys-projects-get-off-ground/5092379001/

Quote
Dredging story doesn’t factor in development

I read with interest the column by Nate Monroe titled, "Dredging has made Jacksonville, vulnerable to storm surge." Monroe quotes from a new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research to make his points. However I noticed that the study did not appear to take into consideration population growth and all the land development along with changes to the drainage systems over the last one hundred years but focused only on the dredging of the river. That is the problem these days with new studies that the media reports on. Do they really look at all the variables involved when they come to their conclusions or are they just out there to push a certain narrative or prove a certain point that is advantageous to them? 

Calvin Johnson, Jacksonville

Quote
Monroe ignores the economics of dredging

Nate Monroe’s story ignores the economics of river dredging. Jacksonville is in competition with Savannah, Charleston and recently Brunswick for imports particularly automobiles. A silted in St Johns River would render Jacksonville a veritable and literal backwater that would make the city irrelevant in almost any context.

John Ekdahl, Ponte Vedra Beach
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: Florida Power And Light on May 16, 2021, 09:59:55 PM
Bad Deals get Worse.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: jaxlongtimer on May 24, 2021, 12:38:20 PM
After they dredged alligator cut back in the day mill cove has basically filled in.

Then dredging there is required... The river is an economic engine... always has been.  If not for the shipping Jax would be a swampy backwater. Yes... there are environmental impacts.  Pick your poison.  Walk along the Riverwalk anywhere and start counting all the litter and trash lining the river... Your litter and trash.

If the port is such an economic driver, why don't the user fees pay for the dredging?  And, some would argue the natural river and its preservation is more of an economic driver than destroying it and only having the port to show for it.  Aside from the beaches, Jax's most valued real estate is on the banks of our waterfront and I would imagine, along with the associated property taxes, could rival the value of the port.  That doesn't include ancillary businesses such as tourism, boating, fishing, cruising, etc. that derive income from the river.  Add the value of the environmental and resiliency benefits to the community and surrounding lands plus as a drainage basin and source of water supplies and I think it is clear the port moves down a few more notches.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: BridgeTroll on May 24, 2021, 05:26:19 PM
The river... from Buckman to the ocean is about as "natural" as I 95... The banks are artificial... it is and has been heavily populated and polluted for a hundred years. It has been dredged multiple times over the past hundred years. Heavy shipping traffic once extended all the water to Green Cove Springs. 

Dredging to Jaxport or all the way to downtown really shouldn't be an issue...
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: bl8jaxnative on May 24, 2021, 06:39:55 PM

If the port is such an economic driver, why don't the user fees pay for the dredging?

Ports long ago - rightly or wrongly - became a public good in this country.   I'd be happy for that to be different but I haven't seen any hope for that sort of change coming anytime soon.



And, some would argue the natural river and its preservation is more of an economic driver than destroying it and only having the port to show for it.  Aside from the beaches, Jax's most valued real estate is on the banks of our waterfront and I would imagine, along with the associated property taxes, could rival the value of the port. 


Considering 1/3 of the regions GDP is generated by the port, take that away and what happen to all that value?


Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: jaxlongtimer on May 25, 2021, 07:11:50 PM
The river... from Buckman to the ocean is about as "natural" as I 95... The banks are artificial... it is and has been heavily populated and polluted for a hundred years. It has been dredged multiple times over the past hundred years. Heavy shipping traffic once extended all the water to Green Cove Springs. 

Dredging to Jaxport or all the way to downtown really shouldn't be an issue...

As they say, two (or more) wrongs don't make a right.  And, there is much that is good still left with the river.  Further, like the outcomes from the Everglades restoration,  fisheries moratoriums, enforced environmental regulations, etc. much can be restored with remedial actions.  The significant removal of pollution since the 1960's is just one example of that.

We are also supposed to have protective entities like the St. Johns River Water Management District, DEP, etc. although, unfortunately, Rick Scott de-fanged and mostly dismantled their abilities to execute their missions and DeSantis has only a little bit put them back together, at best.

The issue, right on top, about the dredging, is I see it as the Port's potential version of JTA's Skyway.  They build it and almost nobody comes.  There are many people questioning the business need for the dredging and what the ROI will ultimately be.  The power line height issue is just another log on this fire.  If this turns out to be so, we will be going economically backwards as we will have obtained a negative Port ROI and impaired the viability of the river.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: BridgeTroll on May 25, 2021, 09:07:25 PM
I’m not endorsing “two wrongs”.  I am choosing the economic engine that is the StJohns River from downtown to the ocean. We are a major seaport and the seaport like most includes a River that requires dredging. 

Lessee… Mississippi River… dredged. Savannah River… dredged. Panama Canal… dredged. Sues canal dredged. Every River seaport in Europe… dredged.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: acme54321 on May 25, 2021, 09:48:13 PM
Comparing the port to the Skyway?  C'mon man!



Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: jaxlongtimer on May 25, 2021, 11:57:06 PM
Comparing the port to the Skyway?  C'mon man!

Read my post again. I'm comparing the dredging project (not the entire Port) to the Skyway....  and only then if we spend hundreds of millions to deepen it and the ships we deepened it for don't show up in the expected numbers.  If that happens, then yes, it would mirror the Skyway story.  We shall see soon enough...
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: BridgeTroll on May 26, 2021, 06:45:46 AM
Comparing the port to the Skyway?  C'mon man!

By not dredging we KNOW which ships will never come...

Read my post again. I'm comparing the dredging project (not the entire Port) to the Skyway....  and only then if we spend hundreds of millions to deepen it and the ships we deepened it for don't show up in the expected numbers.  If that happens, then yes, it would mirror the Skyway story.  We shall see soon enough...
Comparing the port to the Skyway?  C'mon man!

Read my post again. I'm comparing the dredging project (not the entire Port) to the Skyway....  and only then if we spend hundreds of millions to deepen it and the ships we deepened it for don't show up in the expected numbers.  If that happens, then yes, it would mirror the Skyway story.  We shall see soon enough...

By not dredging we KNOW which ships will never come...  8)
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: acme54321 on May 26, 2021, 09:17:45 AM
Comparing the port to the Skyway?  C'mon man!

Read my post again. I'm comparing the dredging project (not the entire Port) to the Skyway....  and only then if we spend hundreds of millions to deepen it and the ships we deepened it for don't show up in the expected numbers.  If that happens, then yes, it would mirror the Skyway story.  We shall see soon enough...

LOL.  So deepening the port is equivalent to spending hundreds of millions to convert the skyway to an elevated road for little unmanned cars?  OK.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: jaxlongtimer on May 26, 2021, 12:25:42 PM
Comparing the port to the Skyway?  C'mon man!

Read my post again. I'm comparing the dredging project (not the entire Port) to the Skyway....  and only then if we spend hundreds of millions to deepen it and the ships we deepened it for don't show up in the expected numbers.  If that happens, then yes, it would mirror the Skyway story.  We shall see soon enough...

LOL.  So deepening the port is equivalent to spending hundreds of millions to convert the skyway to an elevated road for little unmanned cars?  OK.

Again, that is not what I said.  I will try to spell it out for you:  The original Skyway was built based on studies that said if they build it people will use it a lot.  Never happened.  The dredging was done because people said large ships will use it a lot.  If that fails to happen, then the Skyway will be a perfect analogy to the dredging.

If you still don't get it, please consider that your support for the dredging may be precluding your ability to see things from another perspective.  If so, I can't assist any further.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: bl8jaxnative on May 26, 2021, 04:13:09 PM
No one uses the skyway.


On the other hand, the port is one of the larger in the country.  Does 5 times more than Tampa.  Is the 2nd busiest auto port in the nation.

1/3 of our region's GDP - our lives - is created thanks to the port.

Like the no one that rides the Skyway, absolutely bupkiss of GDP is driven by The Skyway.



When someone sees a comparison between something worthless with something that's got so much value if you removed it, you'd tear the region apart......... well, one is maybe being a bit too stubborn and missing the plot.   

No one, not even JTA, is willing to die on skyway mountain. 
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: vicupstate on May 26, 2021, 04:23:32 PM
Quote
On the other hand, the port is one of the larger in the country.  Does 5 times more than Tampa.  Is the 2nd busiest auto port in the nation.

1/3 of our region's GDP - our lives - is created thanks to the port.

But it is ALREADY in that position WITHOUT the dredging. What does the dredging ADD or what loss does it prevent?
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: jaxlongtimer on May 26, 2021, 04:25:57 PM
When someone sees a comparison between something worthless with something that's got so much value if you removed it, you'd tear the region apart......... well, one is maybe being a bit too stubborn and missing the plot.   

I don't know what is so hard to see here.  I am not talking about the Port, just the incremental dredging.  The dredging to 47 feet was for the sole purpose of accommodating Panamax ships.  If they don't show up after the dredging, the several hundred million dollars spent to increase the depth for those ships and the ancillary negative impacts on the river will be for naught.  That would mimic our "investment" in the Skyway.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: acme54321 on May 26, 2021, 06:07:26 PM
Comparing the port to the Skyway?  C'mon man!

Read my post again. I'm comparing the dredging project (not the entire Port) to the Skyway....  and only then if we spend hundreds of millions to deepen it and the ships we deepened it for don't show up in the expected numbers.  If that happens, then yes, it would mirror the Skyway story.  We shall see soon enough...

LOL.  So deepening the port is equivalent to spending hundreds of millions to convert the skyway to an elevated road for little unmanned cars?  OK.

Again, that is not what I said.  I will try to spell it out for you:  The original Skyway was built based on studies that said if they build it people will use it a lot.  Never happened.  The dredging was done because people said large ships will use it a lot.  If that fails to happen, then the Skyway will be a perfect analogy to the dredging.

If you still don't get it, please consider that your support for the dredging may be precluding your ability to see things from another perspective.  If so, I can't assist any further.

I get what you are saying, I just don't agree that the anything to do with the Skyway is a good comparison to keeping one of our city's main economic drivers competitive.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: BridgeTroll on May 27, 2021, 06:52:11 AM
And while we wring our hands...

https://www.live5news.com/2021/05/26/huge-ship-arrives-port-savannah/

Looks like... "If you build it... they will come..."
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: bl8jaxnative on June 11, 2021, 11:43:19 AM
In the very limited terms, what longtimer is saying as "they did a study that projected these numbers and it didn't happen" part is valid.  It's a thing.  It's true.

But it's not important nor insightful.   No one in JAX took transit before the skyway, there was nothing like it in the city and really nothing much in the nation.   It was a pure guess.

IN the case of Jacksonville and it's ports, the city has existed from day #1 because of shipping and ports.  It's always been here and been a big, big part of Jacksonville. 

Dedreging is an incremental change.    Poeple mover was a desperate hail mary.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: Florida Power And Light on June 13, 2021, 08:41:19 PM
Well, looking down from the power lines..... in general “ Fiasco” mode.....
Fishermen are looking forward to ...... possibly......either a Good Thang or a Bad Thang.......newly constructed River Habitat Deep Holes. Deeper water. How will the “ Fishery” ‘ Fair’ ?
Will the Big Redfish incline towards the new Deep? ( I would).
A good study for Dr. Quinton White .... River Keeper.....et al.
After all, now the study is only about the result, rather than conceived change of course.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: jaxlongtimer on June 28, 2021, 11:10:37 AM
TraPac scaling back due to ships not clearing power lines and the Dames Point Bridge at the port.  And, now add not having the equipment to handle larger ships.  So much for "thinking ahead."  Dredging clearly will not be enough.

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2021/06/28/trapac-jacksonville-terminal-to-close-on-fridays.html?utm_source=st&utm_medium=en&utm_campaign=me&utm_content=ja&ana=e_ja_me&j=24289452&senddate=2021-06-28
Quote
TraPac — Jacksonville's first Asian container terminal — scales back service

....Now, TraPac has announced that its facility will be closed on Fridays “due to reduced volume in Jacksonville.” A TraPac official confirmed to the Business Journal that the change in service began June 19.

...The reason: The flow of cargo into TraPac has fallen: In June, a group of shippers known as THE Alliance cut one of two ships that had called at the terminal, a side effect of the shippers changing the size of vessels they have in service on the route....

The larger ships that would otherwise call at TraPac are unable to get there because of transmission lines over the river and the Dames Point Bridge both limiting how tall ships can be, the depths of the shipping channel precluding large, fully loaded ships from entering and the terminal having equipment that cannot efficiently deal with the larger shipping vessels that have become more common, a port spokeswoman said.

In 2014, the largest ships expected to call at Jaxport were expected to carry the equivalent of 9,000 containers

But ships have continued to get bigger: The widening of the Panama Canal — which began in 2007 — brought into service ships carrying 10,000 to 14,000 containers, while ships transiting the Suez Canal carry up to 20,000 containers.

The port authority has been pushing to get JEA to raise the power lines over the river, saying it is necessary to fully benefit from the multimillion-dollar deepening project....

Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: bl8jaxnative on June 29, 2021, 10:36:17 AM
No one in the business ever said dredging was going to be enough.   
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: Charles Hunter on June 29, 2021, 01:01:13 PM
Didn't earlier posts point out that the cost of raising the power lines wasn't included in the USACOE calculation of cost/benefit factors?
If it was known that this was an essential public cost, shouldn't it have been included? Why wasn't it?
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: thelakelander on June 29, 2021, 01:24:33 PM
^Because the plan was always to nickel and dime the costs of what was needed. If the full cost was known upfront, approval and public acceptance would have been more difficult to obtain.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: jaxlongtimer on June 29, 2021, 03:21:28 PM
No one in the business ever said dredging was going to be enough.

They certainly implied it if they didn't explicitly say it given that they didn't address the impact of the bridge and power line heights and any shortcomings of equipment on the docks as part of the dredging approval process.  Surely, some one/people at the Port knew these issues would have to be eventually addressed to extract the full value of the dredging going back to the very start of bringing up this project. 

^Because the plan was always to nickel and dime the costs of what was needed. If the full cost was known upfront, approval and public acceptance would have been more difficult to obtain.

Right, bait and switch.  Or low ball, get the commitment and then hold the taxpayer hostage as they can't afford to undermine the value of what has already been spent when all the real costs become apparent.

We saw this same "business model" with the stadium and the courthouse.  JEA is experiencing it with the nuclear reactors in Georgia.  A favorite trick of contractors and politicians/agency heads.  Yet, elected officials fall for it over and over, just like Charlie Brown trying to kick Lucy's football.  Look for it again on the U2C project.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: jcjohnpaint on June 29, 2021, 05:01:17 PM
He U2C will be the grand finale ;)
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: bl8jaxnative on July 01, 2021, 10:30:15 AM

They certainly implied it if they didn't explicitly say it given that they didn't address the impact of the bridge and power line heights and any shortcomings of equipment on the docks as part of the dredging approval process.  Surely, some one/people at the Port knew these issues would have to be eventually addressed to extract the full value of the dredging going back to the very start of bringing up this project. 



Bridge clearance has always been a known limitation.  Always.  Savannah, Brunswick, et al. have similar issues.   IIRC Savannah's dredging has allowed for ships that are too big to to fit under that US 17 bridge downtown.   Just because you don't have that, does not mean the dredging doesn't provide value.

You do things in iterations.  The dredging allows for bigger ships.   As bigger ships come, you work on putting the next piece in place.

And it's not just the bridge, the port itself, the cranes, the storage space, et al all factor into the size of the ship that's going to come.

TraPac + their customers will experiment with what works + doesn't work.   If the ship made it to the port, then whatever cover story they use, the physical environment allows for it.   The trick is does it make sense given the market.  Are they better off using that ship to ship from China - EU?   Or better using Halifax or Houston instead of Jacksonville.  There's a lot of factors in play.


Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: jaxlongtimer on July 01, 2021, 11:52:01 AM
^ I don't have a problem with stepped improvements.  I do have a problem when someone knows the whole game plan but withholds substantial parts of it or the risks to getting a full return on investment until the plan is underway and it can't be reversed or salvaged if the later parts can't be fully accomplished.  It's called full disclosure and government entities doing these types of projects should be held to the same strict standards public companies are required by the SEC to live up to in terms of disclosing business risks, the competitive landscape and operational/financial trends.  No one likes surprises.

The JaxPort approach damages the credibility of the acting party which may ultimately impair their ability to get approval for future requests.  This is part of the parallel with JTA's advocacy for the Skyway/U2C.
Title: Re: JaxPort Dredging Fiasco?
Post by: bl8jaxnative on July 23, 2021, 11:10:41 AM

Just because they didn't have a copy of their master plan FedExed to your doorstep doesn't mean there aren't plans.  Please, that's a pretty preposterous claim.   

Again, you do things in pieces.  Dredging is needed regardless of bridge raising, et al.   Things like Bridge raising just enable that next class, that next size of ship.

First, you get those 6,500 TEU vessels to come on a regular basis on various routes.  Then you work on put things in place for the next phase.