Inside the Port of Miami Tunnel (Photos)

Categories: News

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Driving through the nearly completed Port of Miami Tunnel on a golf cart is like going on the world's most expensive theme park ride. In 88 days, the construction site is expected to transform into the largest bored tunnel in North America. Currently, it looks like a Universal Studios homage to Journey to the Center of the Earth.

The underwater passageway will facilitate travel to the Port of Miami from the MacArthur Causeway. New Times went to check up on the tunnel's progress 55 months and $643 million in.

The tunnel is on track and on budget, according to its VP, Christopher Hodgkins, and the idea behind it is to help large trucks transport goods to the Port of Miami, which is being deep-dredged to allow for a new breed of ships. The Panama Canal is being expanded, which means the best trade route in the world is about to become more effective. Many U.S. cities -- including Jacksonville, Charleston, New York, and Savannah -- are gearing up for the expansion, but Miami has the closest U.S. port to Panama.

See also: Port of Miami tunnel is a waste of taxpayer money

The Panama Canal project has stalled because of contract disputes, which has led some observers to speculate that the tunnel could become a billion-dollar boondoggle. However, the Wall Street Journal reports there could be a settlement as soon as Tuesday, which means Miami stands to profit greatly from the underwater passageway three months from now.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly at the construction site. The roadways are nearly 50 percent complete, and the rest of the pavement will be set in about two weeks, Hodgkins says. Over the course of five years, the public-private partnership he helps lead has also created 968 jobs in a city with an unemployment rate of more than 9 percent. This is a particular point of pride for Hodgkins, who considers himself the Duke of Watson Island, the manmade landmass from which operations are based.

See also: Environmentalists Sue to Stop Port of Miami Deep Dredge Project

"This is an organic project where 83 percent of workers live in Miami-Dade, and we've got a diversity that mirrors the county as well as $400 million worth of local contracts," he noted during New Times' tour. Although the tunnel will be upstaged by one in Seattle a couple of years after its completion, it's still a majorly impressive feat to bore through the Earth and create a passageway 120 feet below sea level. See for yourself:

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26 comments
Cassandra Luvv
Cassandra Luvv

^^ Until an earthquake causes Miami to break apart and it ends up sinking.

Angel Anthony Montaner
Angel Anthony Montaner

Yeo Miami needs an update to the metro rail system , that could be the next project, imagine the posibilities revenue wise and economicly if miami in its entirety had better rail access, then have the bus system spread through out the community like the grove and other areas leading back to the rail ways

Raul A Maestri Jr.
Raul A Maestri Jr.

.....soon it will prove to be the great financial boondoggle it has always been rumored to be.

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

A waste of money as long as they continue to allow the Union Overlords to run the port.  

It is a cesspool of Cronyism and corruption.

Camille YS Gaming
Camille YS Gaming

Was privileged to get a tour of tunnels last year. It was great. If hurricane comes they will fill with sea water

Gregory Lee
Gregory Lee

Hope this works! so much $$ spent... (It should...!)

Toni Mascaro
Toni Mascaro

My honey works in there 7 days a week, 10-12 or more hours a day workin' hard to get the electrical instalations done on time!! :) It's supposed to alleviate the traffic mess down there heading to South Beach (since there's only one entrance to the Port now). I think it's a great idea. Especially if you have to deal with that traffic nightmare EVER!

Juan Patron
Juan Patron

that's because the next administration is going end the cuban embargo doubling the trade in Miami. businesses man see 10 moves ahead of everyone.

ob1sfla
ob1sfla

this signals the end to Cuba's embargo; the trade, the tourism, big business for Miami

Emily Anne
Emily Anne

Oh man i completely forgot they were building that!

Julio Alejandro Yanes
Julio Alejandro Yanes

Maybe they'll have a cool trolley that runs through the tunnel, Alex! Well, take care man!

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