Drilling of Port of Miami Tunnel completed

May 11, 2013

Business, Did you know?

Drilling of Port of Miami Tunnel completed

The Associated Press

MIAMI — The drilling of a $1 billion tunnel connecting the Port of Miami with nearby expressways is finished, but it won’t open to traffic for another year.

A $45 million drill nicknamed “Harriet” began its underground journey on Watson Island off downtown Miami in November 2011.

It reached the port July 31. Then it was disassembled, turned around and reassembled for a return trip heading back to downtown. That return trip began Oct. 29.

The excavation came to an end Monday morning on Watson Island. Hundreds of workers will now begin laying pavement for roads inside the tunnel.

The project will give cargo trucks a direct route to the port from nearby expressways such as Interstate 95. Currently, port-bound traffic has to travel through congested downtown streets.

The tunnel is scheduled to open to traffic in May 2014.

Chris Hodgkins, vice president of Miami Access Tunnel, the multinational company that is building the tunnel, said the drill will be disassembled again and recycled for future projects.

“She’s dirty, she’s worn, she’s missing a lot of her teeth,” Hodgkins told The Miami Herald 

“Whatever can be saved will be saved, the electric motors, the hydraulics,” he added.

The tunnel is one three major transportation projects in the works in South Florida. The others are a $1.8 billion reconstruction of Interstate 595 in Broward County and a $2 billion transportation hub near Miami International Airport.

Video: Drilling of Port of Miami Tunnel Completed

Video: Port of Miami Tunnel Future Development

Video: The Port of Miami Tunnel design


Port of Miami Tunnel

Port of Miami Tunnel



Project History

Florida Department of Transportation

May 24, 2010 – Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) issues Notice to Proceed 2, allowing the contractor, Bouygues Civil Works Florida (BCWF), to begin construction.

October 15, 2009 – FDOT reaches Financial Close with Miami Access Tunnel (MAT) and issues Notice to Proceed for 55 month Design and Construction schedule.

September 14, 2009 – Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners (M-D BOCC) approves a measure to establish a $75 million letter of credit to meet the county’s obligation to fund the Port of Miami Tunnel (POMT) project.

June 2, 2009 – FDOT reaches Commercial Close with MAT consortium.

May 8, 2009 – FDOT authorizes replacement of Babcock & Brown with Meridiam Infrastructure as the MAT equity partner.

April 16, 2009 – FDOT announces plans to continue procurement process.

December 12, 2008 FDOT announces that an agreement with MAT will not be reached due to financial difficulties.

February 15, 2008 MAT is named the Best Value Proposer.

December 18, 2007 – M-D BOCC approves “global agreement” for the City of Miami “megaplan” that includes the POMT, Florida Marlins stadium and other projects.

December 13, 2007 – The City of Miami Commission agrees to fund a portion of project ($55 million).

October 4, 2007 – M-D BOCC agrees to fund a portion of project ($402.5 million) provided that the City of Miami also contributes a portion of the local funding.

July 24, 2007 – M-D BOCC passes POMT Resolution approving Master Agreement between M-D, City of Miami and FDOT regarding financial contributions towards the construction of the POMT.

May 2, 2007 – FDOT announces intent to select the Best Value Proposer MAT.

March 5, 2007 – FDOT receives proposals from three short-listed proposer teams, FCC Construction, Miami Access Tunnel and Miami Mobility Group.

November 1, 2006 – FDOT issues a Request for Proposals (RFP) for short-listed proposers.

October 12, 2006 – M-D BOCC passes a resolution endorsing the project and granting the County Manager permission to continue negotiations with FDOT and its partners.

October 3, 2006 – M-D BOCC hosts a POMT Workshop that is open to the public.

September 27, 2006 –Results from an FDOT-commissioned study on the economic impact of the Port of Miami are presented to County Commissioners and port stakeholders.

July 18, 2006 – A budget plan for the POMT is submitted to the M-D BOCC by the County Manager.

July 13, 2006 – An overview of the project is given to the M-D Regional Transportation Committee.

April 28, 2006 – FDOT announces short-list of qualified proposers.

March 6, 2006 – FDOT hosts a Project Information Meeting for local, national & international construction representatives to discuss the project.

February 17, 2006 – FDOT issues a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from proposers seeking to develop, design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the POMT project through a Concession Agreement.

December 5, 2005– FDOT hosts Industry Forum to examine Public-Private Partnership (PPP) opportunities.

October 2005– FDOT reassumes sponsorship of POMT Study.

June 2003– Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) starts current POMT Re-evaluation Study to update project documents based on present conditions and examine construction methods for preferred alternative selected in original (Project Design & Environmental (PD&E) Study.

December 13, 2000 – Project receives Location and Design Concept Acceptance from Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), similar to Record of Decision.

June 12, 1996 – Public Hearing.

March 21, 1991 – At joint Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)/Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting, members are informed that FDOT, FHWA, Port of Miami and City of Miami endorsed the preferred alternative, which makes the tunnel a viable project with potential for implementation.

August 23, 1990– FDOT receives letter from City of Miami confirming that location of tunnel portal on Watson Island is consistent with development plans for Watson Island.

July 12, 1990 – FDOT and FHWA determine the preferred alternative is a tunnel crossing diagonally under Main Channel and connecting to MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island.

October 10, 1989 – FDOT District Six begins POMT PD&E Study to evaluate cost-effective alternatives to link Port of Miami to adjacent Interstate highway system.

August 24, 1984– M-D BOCC approves Port of Miami Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), which became the basis of agreement between City of Miami and County. Includes construction of 4-lane underwater/underground tunnel to provide direct access from S.R. 836/I-395 to the Port.

March 1982 – M-D Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) adopts plan recommended by POM Access Task Force, which includes tunnel alternative.

October 1981– M-D MPO Transportation Planning Committee (TPC) establishes POM Access Task Force.


The concrete for the tunnel will allow some 16,000 daily trucks to bypass local streets and directly access PortMiami from Interstate 395 and I-95, is expected to last 150 years. It is the first tunnel in the U.S. with a passive fire protection system: concrete panels specially treated for fireproofing, says Trevor Jackson, chief executive officer with MAT Concessionaire LLC.

MAT will maintain the untolled tunnel and receive performance-based availability payments—as much as $32.5 million annually—until it hands the operations back to the Florida Dept. of Transportation in October 2044.- Source: Engineering News Record

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