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Our New $1 Billion Tunnel Is Already Leaking

Categories: News

port6.JPG
Allie Conti
Inside the PortMiami tunnel shortly before its botched opening last month.
On May 19, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez touted the PortMiami tunnel as the way public-private partnerships are supposed to work. "When the government tries to do a project, it takes a lot of money and time, and this company has done it on budget and on time," he said at the ribbon-cutting.

But the ceremony was just that: ceremony. One month later, the tunnel has yet to open due to a litany of problems, including broken bolts, faulty fans, and leaky pipes.

That's right. Our brand-new $1 billion tunnel is already leaking.

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

port8.JPG
Allie Conti
The tunnel's 50-ton metal flood gates don't work against internal leaks.
The problems aren't really dangerous, the Miami Herald reports. Two of the tunnel's 44 huge jet engine ventilation fans were disabled by unexplained vibrations, and the bolts holding them to the sealing also failed. The leak, meanwhile, is from a rainwater pipe.

"We're not talking about the bay flooding the tunnel," Gus Pego, Miami-Dade's senior FDOT official, told the newspaper. "Think of it as the pipe under your sink."

See also: Inside the Port of Miami Tunnel (Photos)

Nor is the delay costing taxpayers. Instead, under its contract with the county, Parisian contractor Bouygues is out more than $3 million in fines -- a total that grows by $115,000 a day.

But the delays are an embarrassment, and they threaten to shake public confidence in the massive infrastructure project.

"The whole project team is disappointed," Pego said. "The contract called for it to be done May 19, and we were fully expecting to open it then."

Bouygues will deliver a progress report to state and local transportation officials later today, but the tunnel isn't expected to open until July at the earliest.

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111 comments
Jorge Velazquez
Jorge Velazquez

Crazy glued it before it collapses :)) its man made folks !!!!

James Kelley
James Kelley

Is this a suprise?? Come on people the level of "craftsmanship" in south florida is way beyond lax. jimk

Barbara Marquez
Barbara Marquez

My humble opinion, this article is biased, there is a problem, even new shoes have to be broken in. Let's fix it before there is really a casualty, don't you think???

Paul Hackman
Paul Hackman

Dammmm already ot ain't even been open a month

Hilda Melendez
Hilda Melendez

I'm just glad the tax payers aren't footing the bill for the delays. I'm sure it will be fixed and working soon.

Johnny Morris
Johnny Morris

Idiot writer.. Normal problems that engineers handle all the time.

AlmostDone
AlmostDone

Betting that writer Michael Miller couldn't change the spark plugs on his mom's Camry.  All major projects have startup problems.. And that's why you have dedicated people solving them.

Juan Carlos
Juan Carlos

They're just jealous because Miami is a city that just keeps getting better and better. And where they come from is garbage.

Juan Carlos
Juan Carlos

Oh Anastasia Biltmore, talking to these know it all's and trying to make them understand something is impossible. Your dealing with a bunch of misinformed, uneducated morons.

Juan Carlos
Juan Carlos

Just what Miami needs. Negativity coming from a bunch of know it all's Great. How many more things do you idiots need to talk crap about to feel better at the end of the day?

Juan Carlos
Juan Carlos

WOW! I didn't know geniuses were so negative. If everybody knew and predicted this you all should be hitting the lotto every night.

Anastasia Biltmore
Anastasia Biltmore

The tunnel isn't "leaking"- it is a rainwater recovery pump which isn't working correctly. Also, how can the contractor be faulted for vibrations that are IN the fans? It is the fan manufacturer that has to fall on the sword for that one. This tunnel has been completed in a very reasonable time and EVERY major construction project has a "punch list" of things that need to be dealt with before it opens to the public. Totally normal. So it's a month or 2 late- big deal.

j.nall
j.nall

That's "ceiling", not "sealing"...

Font Illius
Font Illius

Lol ignoramuses and a misleading headline. I need to lower my expectations for the citizenry of this county. I'll be happy to see the tunnel open.

Michael Kellett
Michael Kellett

A billion dollars just might have helped a homeless person or two turn things around...maybe, just maybe.

Joseph Mazon
Joseph Mazon

Chill folks, El Tunel is NOT 'leaking" , its a new construction, there are a bugs, they will be worked out. I'll bet not one of you has read the history of the building of the Chunnel between England and France. In the meantime, calm down, do your research, then speak, or sit down, shut up and learn.

Brandon Young
Brandon Young

They probably hired Tio Papito to build it. Corrupt Miami politicians always giving family members contracts

Franco Rodriguez
Franco Rodriguez

They should of drove through home Pipo's parking lot and picked up a real crew of certified tunnel experts for this job ASIRI! :D

Joveline Pettus
Joveline Pettus

A pipe is leaking... Happens with tunnels... Happened in Boston. Fix it and move on.

Jorge Larrea
Jorge Larrea

Who's ever idea this tunnel was... "You're the real MVP"

Franco Rodriguez
Franco Rodriguez

thanks to El dolarazo construction development group and Home pipo for the materials LOL!

James Brown
James Brown

Said also by everyone who has ever hired contractors in South Florida

nicolasajimenez
nicolasajimenez

"...and the bolts holding them to the sealing also failed."
One time, I was ceiling envelopes and they all got wet because I had a leak in the sealing.

AlmostDone
AlmostDone

Agree with your tone except the fans might have been delivered perfectly balanced.  However improperly anchoring or aligning the fans/motors/frames could easily run them out of balance.

ob1sfla
ob1sfla

the media, don't you love bad negative news? "tax payers waste of money", I'm polarized already (not) and happy for the higher ratings in order to sell their trash. I have been following something for a while now, when we start trading, and exporting back to Cuba, is gonna happen very soon, this is going to make a big difference, if Miami will be ready to handle it, and benefit from it, or another city, in another state will, you have the right attitude, you don't get polarized that easy, thank you.

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