Lawmaker seeks road funds for Port Manatee
Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan pledged Tuesday to assist Port Manatee officials build a connector road to Interstate 75 that would help its drive to establish container service.
The offer most likely means the lawmaker will insert a dedicated amount of funding for the project in a spending bill.
The Florida port sits on the other side of Tampa Bay from the Port of Tampa and is developing its first container terminal to take advantage of expected increases in container traffic from Asia associated with the upcoming expansion of the Panama Canal.
The Republican congressman's pledge came following tour of the port with Panamanian Ambassador to the United States Jaime Eduardo Alem'n Healy and a meeting with 70 business leaders and lawmakers from Palmetto County, according to a news release issued by his office.
'This is about creating jobs,' Buchanan said. 'Port Manatee's capacity for growth and its proximity to the canal give it distinct advantages as we move closer to the planned completion of the expanded canal in 2014.'