PORT MANATEE -- Gov. Rick Scott will make an appearance at Port Manatee at 9 a.m. Wednesday to give the port's newest ship berth a proper and official dedication.
The governor is set to lead the brief ceremony, which will belatedly mark the opening of the $7.6 million Berth 14. Finished last October, the berth welcomed its first ship, the UBC Livomo, in January. It received a load of salt from the freighter.
Berth 14 was built as part of the port's 1,584-foot-long Berth 12 project. The combined berths are slightly more than twice as long as the Port's largest single berth, the 790-foot Berth 7. Construction on the big berth took about 16 months.
The project was the first step of a multiyear port improvement schedule that will eventually deepen its shipping channels and rebuild many of its aging berths. When the projects are complete, the port will be able to take in and load some of the largest cargo ships on the sea.
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Scott last visited the Port Manatee area in January 2014 when he showed up to dedicate a $56.8 million Air Products manufacturing facility built across U.S. 41 from the port's north entrance. Members of the Manatee County Port Authority are expected to attend Wednesday event. In an email inviting the commissioners to the dedication, port Executive Director Carlos Buqueras, said the governer also will be joined by "a host of local businesses and community leaders."
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter@MattAtBradenton.