June 19 - The pre-construction, engineering and design (PED) phase of the Jacksonville harbour deepening project has begun.

The initial engineering and design work is expected to take 18 months, with deepening construction scheduled to begin as early as 2016.

"During the course of the next year and a half, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will design a project with both economics and the environment as dual priorities," said chairman of JAXPORT's board of directors, Joe York.

On June 10, President Obama signed bipartisan legislation authorising the Jacksonville harbour deepening project, saying that the project would strengthen the USA's national infrastructure and create jobs.

"The harbour deepening project will modernise and expand our port to strengthen our competitive position in the global economy," said Jacksonville mayor, Alvin Brown.