The Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), also known as Harriet, arrived at PortMiami this morning completing the first of what will be two tunnel tubes under Biscayne Bay linking the Port with the mainland. This marks the half-way point in the boring process.
"It is a milestone day for PortMiami," Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez told a crowd of more than 500 onlookers who cheered Harriet's festive arrival on Dodge Island. "The tunnel is critical to PortMiami's future growth because it will allow port traffic to move more expeditiously to and from the interstate system, and will help reduce traffic downtown. This project has been an engineering feat of note. But, even more significantly, the PortMiami tunnel is an example of what our port is all about -- a public-private collaboration that will make our port even more dynamic tomorrow than it is today," Gimenez added.
After traveling 4,000 feet under the bay, Harriet will now be turned around and will start the dig back towards Watson Island. Each tunnel tube will carry two-lanes of traffic under Government Cut. Officials from Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the Federal Highway Administration, Miami Access Tunnel, Bouygues Civil Works Florida along with the hundreds of workers on the tunnel project, watched this historical event a Break-Out celebration at PortMiami.
The PortMiami Tunnel project is a public-private partnership between Miami Access Tunnel, FDOT, Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. Construction began May 2010, and the project is expected to be completed in May 2014.