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Jacksonville Port Authority Chair Joe York (second from right)introduces new board member Ed Fleming (left) during a special meeting Friday. Also pictured are John Falconetti, board vice chair, and Jim Citrano, board member.

Kenyon wins port transfer facility contract

By David Chapman, Staff Writer

The Jacksonville Port Authority board Friday approved a much-anticipated $30 million project, one CEO Brian Taylor calls an “absolute requirement” to maintain competitiveness.

The board picked Jacksonville-based Dana B. Kenyon Co. to design and build the port’s intermodal container transfer facility next to the Dames Point Marine Terminal.

The facility will unload cargo off ships and directly to trains, saving time that is now spent transferring the goods to trucks that then must be driven several miles to other rail-accessible yards for transport.

Of the $30 million, Kenyon will receive $23.5 million for the project after being selected as the low bid among three finalists.

In addition, $1.8 will go to engineering firm Arcadis U.S. Inc., which did early design work for the project, and $1.5 million will be for CSX Corp. to shift its rail lines to accommodate the facility. Another $2.4 million is being set aside for project contingencies.

The project is funded through $10 million federal and $20 million state transportation grants.

After the meeting, Taylor said the facility is a “logical progression” for JaxPort, as most other major U.S. ports have invested in such on-dock rail facilities.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2015, with a third-party operator to be hired. A port request for that operator will be issued soon.

In other action, the board approved a third amendment to the TraPac lease that will allow the parent company of the container terminal to make the Jacksonville facility a separate legal entity. Mistsui O.S.K. Lines will remain the parent company, but wants to monetize its assets in California and had to make the Jacksonville entity separate.

Michael Poole, JaxPort chief financial officer, told the board that the company wants to make strategic investments — “potentially here” — as part of its selling a minority stake in its West Coast assets.

As part of the agreement for the amendment, Mistsui will provide an additional $4 million letter of credit, equal to about six-months rent, to the port.

dchapman@baileypub.com

@writerchapman

(904) 356-2466

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