Philadelphia, November 15, 2013– Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that he will join a 2-day tour of the Panama Canal expansion project with Vice President Joe Biden and other government officials. The Panama Canal expansion project will double the capacity of the canal and allow significantly larger ships to call on U.S. ports, helping spark job creation and prosperity at home and across the Americas.
“I was pleased and honored to get a call from Vice President Biden, asking if I would travel with him for a significant discussion regarding the Panama Canal expansion and the new, exciting business opportunities for the City of Philadelphia’s port,” said Mayor Nutter. “There is great potential to increase economic activity at our port and create good wage-paying jobs for Philadelphians. I look forward to working with the Vice President and my fellow mayors from across the country to advocate for increasing American business activity and investment in our infrastructure and transportation systems in order to boost our economy and put Americans to work.”
On Monday, November 18, Vice President Biden, Mayor Nutter and other officials will tour the Port of Houston in Houston, Texas before continuing on to Panama. The other members of the delegation travelling with Vice President Biden are: Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx; U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL); Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore; Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta.
Philadelphia’s port is in a strategic position on the East Coast with easy access to an international airport, two Class I railroads and major highways. The port is a major importer of perishables and is a top-ranked hub for chilled and frozen cargo on the East Coast due to extensive, state-of-the-art temperature control facilities. Currently, the Delaware River is being dredged to deepen it to 45 feet in order to accommodate a larger number of ships that will be able to access Philadelphia. This project is expected to be completed in 2015.
For more information, please go to the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority: http://philaport.com/index.htm.