Port Manatee moving ahead with $8.3 million dockside container yard expansion

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Port Manatee is advancing an $8.3 million project to nearly double the size of its dockside container yard with approval of a construction contract by the Manatee County Port Authority.

The container yard expansion, targeted for June 2021 completion, promises to add 9.3 acres to the existing 10-acre paved facility adjoining Port Manatee’s Berth 12 and 14 docks.

“Expansion of the dockside container yard to encompass 19.3 acres not only will accommodate dynamic demand from such longtime users as Port Manatee-based World Direct Shipping and Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. but also will literally and figuratively pave the way for further global commerce opportunities at our flourishing seaport,” Port Manatee’s Executive Director Carlos Buqueras stated. “The expansion project is a cornerstone of the two-year, $38 million capital enhancement initiative under way at Port Manatee.”

The newly awarded construction contract with Crisdel Group of Tampa is for $7.89 million, with that amount equally divided between port funds and a Florida Department of Transportation grant. Engineering work is being completed under a separate $413,578 contract with Stantec, also of Tampa.

The construction undertaking includes paving, drainage infrastructure and high-mast lighting, as well as the installation of 150 new electrical receptacles for plugging in refrigerated cargo containers, to bring Port Manatee’s total contingent of such reefer plugs to 600.

Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers.

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