Published: Aug 10, 2012 11:19 AM EDT

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Florida Gov. Rick Scott is directing $24.4 million in state funds to jump-start a channel widening and deepening project at Port Canaveral.
    
Scott went to the port at Cape Canaveral on Thursday to make the announcement.
    
The improvements will permit the port to handle larger cruise ships
    
The funding from the Florida Department of Transportation is expected to enable the project to begin next year instead of in 2017. It is expected to be completed by fall 2015.
    
Port officials say the expansion will support 3,494 permanent jobs and 3,413 construction jobs.

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