The Obama administration is speeding up expansion projects at five major U.S. ports, including two in politically important Florida, as part of a broader plan to accelerate public works projects across the country during a weak economic recovery.

The White House announced the expedited work Thursday as President Barack Obama flew to campaign in Florida, including Jacksonville, one of the port cities that would benefit from the plan.

White House spokesman Jay Carney noted that accelerating such projects was a recommendation from the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Presidential challenger Mitt Romney has criticized Obama for not meeting with the jobs council for six months.

Other modernization projects: the Port of Miami, the Port of Savannah, the Port of New York and New Jersey, and the Port of Charleston.