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Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel

Published May 26, 2017

Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.

The channel project overall will cost $55 million, a press release said. The Big Bend Channel connects to the Tampa Harbor main channel and will be deepened from 34 feet to 43 feet and widened from 200 to 250 feet to accommodate larger ships.

"The members of our Board and our entire team are excited that the administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Office of Management and Budget recognize that the Big Bend Channel project will set the standard for innovative partnerships by utilizing a less than 20 percent federal stake in this estimated $55 million strategic project to support navigational improvements," Paul Anderson, president and CEO of Port Tampa Bay, said in a statement.

Along with the federal allocation, which will come from the Army Corps' fiscal year 2017 funds, Port Tampa Bay will be contributing to the project, though a total sum was not disclosed.

Anderson also noted that the port "has already invested $30 million in infrastructure, with assistance from the Florida Department of Transportation, for the growing Port Redwing maritime complex that will be served by the Big Bend Channel."

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